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Akure
July 18, 2024
Community News

Disputed land: Appeal Court dismisses FG/FECA suit, rules in favour of Ogunmokun family

The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital has dismissed the suit filed by the Federal Government over the disputed land accommodating the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA)

The appellate court presided by Justices Oyebisi Folakemi Omolade, Fredrick Oziakpono Ono and Yusuf Alhaji Bashir affirmed the judgment of an Akure High Court that ceded some parts of the land where FECA was situated to Ogunmokun family.

In a unanimous decision read by Justice Ono described the appeal filed by the Federal Government as moribund, resolved all issues raised against the government, and dismissed them accordingly with a fine of N500.000.00.

An Akure High Court presided by Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye had declared that the Ogunmokun family and members of the family are persons entitled to a statutory Right of Occupancy in respect of a piece of land situate, lying and being at Akure/Owo/Ilesha road which is known as Okutania/Ogunmokun family land which is more appropriately described in survey plan No JOE/OD/777/88 with beacon pillar Nos PBE 260 to PEB 2672, AFA 8720 and AFA 8721.

A declaration that at no time was the said land acquired land by the Federal Government for whatever purpose and that the Federal Government can only acquire a piece of land for a public purpose and not for other purposes like selling, leasing, and alienating to any private individuals.

The Court also held that the acquisition of the family land by the Federal Government in 1949 as contained in Nigeria Gazet is only limited to the area described as 685.9 acres and the boundary is limited to the description as contained in the and that the defendants cannot unilaterally expand it.

Displeased with the decision of the lower court, the federal government through its lawyer, Ola Dan Olawale asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment and affirm the federal government as the high owner of the contentious land.

The appellants included the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal College of Agriculture, the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The major grouse of the lawyer to the appellants is that those who were sued by the family were not juristic persons and as such could not be queried by the litigants who dragged the family to court initially.

However, counsel to the Ogunmokun family, Mr Daisi Akindehin said since Attorney General and Minister of Justice has been included in the suit, it has conferred jurisdict personality on the appellants.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the federal government and affirmed the earlier judgment of Justice Adebusoye that ceded the parts of the land where the college of agriculture is situated to the Ogunmokun family.

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