BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—The Edo State Government has been dragged before a state High Court sitting in Benin by a business man, Prince Musa Braimoh, over the acquisition of a parcel of land situated in Idunmwunivbitor village, off Sapele Road, in the state capital for the building of a shopping mall by a South African Company, Shoprite Holdings Limited.
Also joined as defendants in the suit are the state Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, state Ministry of Land and Surveys, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited and Mr. Anton Wagenaar.
The claimant is asking the court for a perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants from trespassing or committing any further acts of nuisance on the said parcel of land.
He is also seeking N34. 622 million as damages.
The claimant further contended that he is the owner and in lawful possession of the parcel of the land in question, which he acquired by a virtue of a Deed of Transfer dated 7, February 2001 from one Isaac Layinka Garrick and in exercise of his right of ownership over the land, he placed tenants on the land, who erected temporary structures and he has been collecting rent from the said tenants without hindrance.
According to him in September, 2013, he was informed that certain persons, who identified themselves as agents of Edo State Government, started making a fence with wood and corrugated sheets to encompass the said land and the Ivbiotor primary School also known as Salvation Army School, adding that upon his intervention, the encirclement process was stopped.
“Two weeks later, several persons armed with military escorts, who identified themselves of the 1st Defendant came onto the land in dispute with earth moving equipments and machinery including bulldozers and low graders.”