Man charges Land grabbers, St Alphonsus for destroying property - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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Man charges Land grabbers, St Alphonsus for destroying property

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Mr Babatunde Olalekan Lawal of No 15, Church Street, Opebi, Lagos has dragged the incorporated Trustees of St Alphonsus Catholic Church, Akute, Ogun State as well as Hakeem Fabolude, Samson Fabolude, Rasheed Fabolude and Yaya Ogundimu before an Ogun State High Court sitting in Ota for alleged demolition of his four-flat building at Tunde Senbanjo Crescent, Akute as well as the forceful take over of the three and half plot of lands upon which the property was built.

Mr Babatunde Olalekan Lawal, in a suit marked HCT/861/19 and dated September 7, 2020 filed by Barr A T Badmus, alleged that the 1st defendant, St Alphonsus Catholic Church, Akute connived with the 5th defendant, Yaya Ogundimu alleged to be a land speculator as well as the 2nd to 4th defendants; Hakeem Fabolude, Samson Fabolude and Rasheed Fabolude to chase out his sister and other tenants of the house sometimes in 2013 after which the structure was demolished with the first defendant, the Catholic Church taking possession of the property.

The claimant explained that he had bought the 3 and half plot of land around 1990 from the Fabolude's family through his sister, one Mrs Adebayo Oluwatoyin and that sometimes in 1992 when he came back to Nigeria from abroad, he had perfected the land sales agreement with the Fabolude's family after which he built three bedroom flat, two other rooms behind and one other on the land.

He said that he had equally gotten relevant documents from the government such as the Survey Plan and Certificate of Occupancy to confirm his ownership of the said land.

The claimant disclosed further that he had been enjoying relative peace on the property until sometimes in 2013 when Yaya Ogundimu, the 5th defendant chased his sister and other tenants living in the house away on the ground that he had a court judgement backing his actions whereas he claimed that the court processes leading to this judgement were not served on him neither his sister, one Mrs Olayinka Rufai living in the house.

The 5th defendant was said to have relied on a judgement in their favour in a suit marked HCL/24/81 to allegedly get another default judgment in a suit marked HCT/401/2005 to be laying ownership to the land.

The claimant however revealed that aside the fact that the 5th defendant allegedly did not serve him the court processes in the suit marked HCT/401/2005 upon which he got default judgment to take possession of the land in dispute, he also failed to make full disclosure to the court that that judgement in the suit no HCL/24/81 which he was relying on was at that time being challenged at the Appeal Court, Ibadan.

He said the judgement the 5th defendant obtained in the suit no HCL/24/81 was on June 30, 2016 in a suit marked CA/1/76/93 vacated by the Appeal Court, Ibadan.

The claimant claimed further that during one of his visits to Nigeria, the 1st defendant, the St Alphonsus Catholic Church, Akute had approached him to sell his land to them but he had objected saying that he also wanted to use the land.

He explained that after allegedly conniving with the 5th defendant to illegally and forcefully take over his property through a backdoor judgement, the Catholic Church allegedly repurchased the property after which they brought the bulldozer to demolish his building and then occupied the three and half plot of land.

Mr Babatunde Olalekan Lawal also stated that sometimes in 2012, the Fabolude's family through the 2nd to 4th defendants told him that he would have to repurchase the land and for the sake of giving peace a chance he paid another sum of N1m but was however surprised at the turn of events

The claimant among other things has therefore demanded N30m as special and general damages for the losses suffered over his property.

Aside asking the court to declare him as the rightful owner of the property, Mr Babatunde Olalekan Lawal equally asked the court to give perpetual order of injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, representatives among others from further entering of the land while the Catholic Church should also remove its encroaching structures on the land and vacate it.

Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice O. O. Osunfisan, who had just been re-assigned the case, has adjourned the matter to May 3, 2023 for further hearing of the suit.

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