A Lagos court has declared Awujale and Oloja the rightful owners of disputed land in Epe
Justice Sharafa Olaitan, who presided over a Lagos State High Court in Epe, has ruled that the Iposu Chieftaincy Family does not rightfully own a large piece of land measuring 1,168.141 hectares (2,886.534 acres) in Epe. This land includes areas known as Akesan and Papa and is said to be bordered by the Epe Lagoon, Santos Family land, Lupotoro Family land, Odofin Compound, Jubulu Family land, and Itemu River. The specific details of this land can be found in a survey plan created by Surveyor F. A. Ogunbadejo on August 10, 2020.
In the judgment, Justice Olaitan determined that this vast land belongs to the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamoru Animashaun, and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
This decision follows an eight-year legal dispute involving Prof. Sulaiman Talabi, Chief Olayiwola Oladunjoye, and Chief Wale Mogaji, who represented the Iposu Chieftaincy Family as defendants in a lawsuit numbered EPD/131LMW/2016. They were challenged by the counter-claimants, namely Mr. Bayo Rasaq, Mr. Ahmed Rasaq, the Oloja of Epe, the Awujale of Ijebu Land, and Rivebond Nigeria Limited.
Justice Olaitan’s judgment was based on the defendants’ failure to provide the survey plan used in a Supreme Court case that influenced the decision. She noted that the defendants did not submit any survey plans from the various judgments they relied upon. Additionally, during cross-examination, one of the defendants was unable to answer questions about these judgments.
In conclusion, Justice Olaitan found that the evidence presented by the counter-claimants outweighed that of the defendants when considering the balance of probabilities. She granted several reliefs in favor of the counter-claimants, including damages of N5 million under Relief FV and awarded costs of N5 million against the defendants. These costs were to be shared, with 70% going to the 5th counter-claimant and 30% to the 1st, 2nd, and 4th counter-claimants.