Ibadan — SOME traditional rulers and other 50 families in Ibadan have filed a suit against Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and two of his aides over a N16b land covering 404. 74 acres at Idi-Ishin Alalubosa area of Ibadan.
The rulers, Baale Asaani Lasokun and Chief Kazeem Akintayo are among several other claimants demanding justice in the land dispute.
Asaani represented Lasokun family while Akintayo represented his family.
Other families involved in the case are Omo, Abaya, and Kehinde, Odunjo, Ajia, Kadelu, Aregbeomo, Eleyele, Aboke, Abeni amongst others .
They are praying the court to declare them as the original owners of respective portions of lands measuring 404.74 acres and adjoining the land occupied by Nigerian Institute of Horticultural and Research Training, NIHORT and Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, FRIN.
According to the families who were represented by their counsel, O. A Abiose from the chambers of Chief Afe Babalola, "the land had been released to the families by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development through the 1st defendant, Governor Ajimobi via a letter dated July 2012 with reference number LH/LA/62/Vol.1/102â€³.
They also want the court to declare that "by virtue of the de-acquisition of the land by the Federal Ministry of Lands through the governor in the letter, the land automatically reverts to the claimants' families".
The land, having been released to them, they want the court to declare that "the failure of the governor, his Attorney General and Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Survey to release the land is illegal and unlawful".
They are praying the court to grant them "an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents and or privies from taking any steps or doing anything on the piece or parcel of land measuring approximately 404.74 acres".
Giving further details, they said the land was compulsorily acquired by the FG for citrus fruit via a Western Nigeria Notice 1330 dated October 2, 1964 and published in a Gazette No. 59 vol.13 of November 26, 1964.
They also averred that "while compensation was paid on the area apportioned to the FG establishments as evidenced by records and claim surveys plan in the Ministry, other un-used and un-occupied and no compensation was paid to the claimants being the original owner families in respect of the land".
At the commencement of the case at the State High Court in Ibadan yesterday, which Justice Gboye Gbolagunte presided, Counsel to the governor and other defendants, Najeem Abiola pleaded that the court should adjourn the case to enable his clients to file necessary papers.
But, counsel to the claimants asked the court to compel his learned friend to give an undertaking that the defendants should not touch the land before the determination of the case.
Justice Gbolagunte then adjourned the case to March 21st for hearing.
Over 75 people from the claimants side stormed the court room.