By Onozure Dania

The Trustees of the Estate of late Madam Iyalode Tinubu have asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to set aside the ruling of a Lagos High Court on the disputed Ijora land.

Justice Wasiu Animashaun of the lower court had in a ruling of January 23, 2019 dismissed the appellant’s counter claim filed on June 8, 2017 in suit N0, M/5/2009 on the ground that it was an abuse of court process.

Not pleased with the lower court’s decision,  the Trustees in the appeal filed through their attorney, Adamakin Investment and Work Limited are praying the appellate court to set aside the entire ruling of the lower court made on January 23, dismissing the appellant’s counter claim filed on June 8, 2017 in suit N0, M/5/2009.

In the appeal, the Trustees are asking the appellate court for an order reinstating to the cause list of the lower court, the counter-claim in the same suit dismissed by the lower court.

They are further praying the court for an order for the trial of their counter claim before another court within the same jurisdiction as constituted before the lower court.

The Trustees also prayed the Court of Appeal to stay further proceeding in the matter pending the determination of the appeal,  contending  that going ahead with further proceeding in the matter will foist a situation of helplessness on the Appeal Court  and render the appeal nugatory.

In an affidavit in support of the appeal and deposed to by one Ayoyinka Roberts, a legal practitioner at Reliance Solicitors, Lagos, the appellants are contending that the lower court erred in law when it held that they were precluded from bringing an action against Oba Abdul-Fatai  Aromire, Chief Fatai Suleiman, Prince Olayiwola Oluwa, (5th to 7th respondents), following the provision of section 16 of the limitation law (Cap L67) Laws of Lagos State by stating that for the 37 years of litigation before competent court of law, forms part of the limitation period against them despite acknowledging that the said litigation ended with the Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on April 3, 2009.

But the respondents have argued that the counter claimant’s action was an attempt to re-open the issue litigated upon in the previous suit, which amounted to abuse of court process.

They also noted the period of time that litigation in the previous suit took, right from the high court to the supreme court, stressing that the counter claimant and 6th defendant in the suit are caught by the principle of Estoppel by conduct, having not joined the previous suit that lasted 37 years in court, despite having constructive notice of the pendency of the suit.

It will be recalled that dispute arose on the land between Mr. Adeyemi  Savage, Mrs. Roseline Roberts, Kolawole Savage suing as administrators to the Estate of Kolapo Belugbade Savage as claimants in suit N0 M/5/2009, while Taylor Woodrow Nigeria Limited, Oba Abdul-Fatai  Aromire, Chief Fatai Suleiman, Prince Olayiwola Oluwa and Twinsectra Nigeria limited were listed as respondents.

The appellant joined in the suit as the 6th defendant and counter claimant.

Also, a letter on the interpretation of the disputed land plan survey signed by Chief Surveyor, Odupe S.O addressed and submitted to the court on the matter showed that most of the property said to belong to Mr. Kolapo Savage fall within the claim of property said to belong to Mrs. Adamakin INV. & Works Ltd/Late Madam Efunroye Tinubu as observed from the plan by the Chief Surveyor.

According to the letter, the Chief Surveyor observed that the property said to belong to Mr. Kolapo Savage as shown on Plan No. LAA?0327/2007/MISC040/LA made by Surv. L.A Animashaun verged yellow colour falls within the claim of property said to belong to Mrs. Adamakin.



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