By Henry Ojelu
Former second Vice-President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Monday Ubani, has stated that the property of one of his clients located at Opebi area of Lagos, allegedly invaded by a property developer, Abiodun Ariori, and some Lagos State Government Task Force officials, is not part of disputed Monkey Village.
Ubani made the clarification following claims by one Meadow family justifying the forceful take over the property, which they insisted is part of their Monkey Village property.
In his reaction, Ubani insisted that his client’s property located at 1 Folorunsho Kuku Street, Opebi Village, is covered by a Certificate of Occupancy obtained since 1989, and not part of Monkey Village which the Meadow family is laying claims to.
He said: “I have seen the reaction of the Meadow Family to my statement in which I specifically alleged that the family got the Lagos State entangled in this messy land scandal wrongly and glad to note that the family’s reaction confirmed my allegation.
“It is very alarming that the Lagos State Government fell into this mess by listening to this family that have no basis both in law and logic to do what they did over this land matter.
“Our client’s land is not Monkey Village land but ours is situate, lying and being at No 1 Folorunsho Kuku Street, Opebi Village. It is fenced with a gate and tenants therein covered by a Certificate of Occupancy obtained since 1989.
“The Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the Lagos State Government after a publication in a national newspaper without any objection from any person.
“The beneficiary of the property has been in an unhindered occupation and effective possession for over 20 years with evidence of paying Land Use Charge to the State Government up to date.
“Our client does not have any relationship with the said Kuku as they did not buy any property from him and so could not be associated with an unsubstantiated allegation connecting to his land which the Meadow Family allegedly misappropriated as part of their alleged Supreme Court judgement of 1987.
“If they executed the said judgement in 1987 as they alleged, how come the State Government gave a certificate of occupancy over the same property in 1989?
“The Warrant of Possession which the family showed to the Police and which I have a copy showed the correct address where they executed the writ of possession on, and the address is clearly at variance with Folorunsho Kuku Street that is at Opebi, where our client’s land is situated.
“The family have been careful in their response not to mention how they invaded the land some months ago with illegal MOPOL and thugs, which led to a court action wherein the court granted an injunction against this same Abiodun Ariori. He has not filed any response to the lawsuit up till now.
“The meadow family is illegally terrorising the rightful owner of the property and his tenants and have brought blocks on the property in preparation to commence work despite the court injunction against the land grabbers and despite the intervention of the Lagos State Government to investigate our claim that the Lagos State illegally aided land grabbers to take over a legitimate land that belongs to the rightful beneficiaries who are our client.
“The attention of the entire world is drawn to this case and I request them to put their eyes and ears on it to see how the State Government will really resolve this issue.
“The Family has been brandishing several survey plans over this property and luckily enough I have them all as they submitted them to the police authorities which handled this matter initially.
“I will like to see the new survey plan/s they will submit over this matter in the proceedings before the State Government.
“They have been bringing several surveyors from God knows where to re-survey the land after the invasion and dispossession. It is shocking because they have a judgement allegedly over the land, so what survey did they use for the proceedings at the High Court?
“Finally the current lawyer who issued this last statement on behalf of the Land Consultant of the family is the 4th lawyer they have brought over this case. I am sure that very soon, they will discard and employ another lawyer; it is their stock in trade. We wait and watch,” Ubani concluded.