June 15, 2016

Widow, 92, withdraws suit seeking return of Lagos schools

Widow, 92, withdraws suit seeking return of Lagos schools


A 92-year-old widow, Mrs Roseline Ololo, on Wednesday discontinued a suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos seeking return two schools – Metropolitan College and Isolo Secondary School, Lagos, to her.

The applicant had filed the suit through her lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo, praying the court for an order directing the government to return the schools to her.

When the case was called on Wednesday, counsel to the applicant informed the court of a motion on notice to discontinue the suit.

Omirhobo prayed the court to withdraw the action in its entirety against all persons sued as respondents in accordance with the rules of court.

In a short ruling, Justice Rabiu Shagari struck out the suit with no order as to cost.

Ololo had sued for herself and her company, Akaix West Africa Ltd.

The respondents in the suit were the Attorney General of the Federation, the Minister of Education, Lagos State Government, Lagos State Attorney General, and The Lagos State Commissioner for Education.

The applicant had prayed the court for a declaration that the refusal by the Lagos State Government to return her schools was unjust, unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.

In her affidavit, she averred that in 1952, she and her late husband incorporated a company, Akaix Africa Ltd, in which name they established Metropolitan College.

She averred that they were granted permission by the Federal Ministry of Education to establish Metropolitan College of Commerce.

Ololo averred that in 1966, before the Nigerian Civil war, they had purchased over 8.17 hectares of land at the Itire-akari, Isolo area of Lagos for siting of their school.

According to the applicant, the Military Government of Lagos State, in 1976, took over 48 private secondary schools from their owners, including Metropolitan College.

She said that in the process, Isolo Secondary School was carved out of Metropolitan College on the same expanse of land hosting the college.

She averred that however, in 2001, the then administration repealed the law and returned the said 48 private schools to their owners, but Metropolitan College was curiously not returned to its owners.

The applicant, had, therefore, prayed the court for a declaration that the refusal of the respondents to return her schools violated her constitutional rights to acquire and own landed properties.

Ololo had also sought a court order restraining the respondents from further infringing on her fundamental right, as well as an order returning her properties to her.