Land Tussle: Court Grants Right of Occupancy of 55 Hectares Quarry Land To Family In Ogun

ABEOKUTA – An Ogun State High Court of Justice sitting in Abeokuta, has granted members of Ondoko, Soyombo and Sokabi Family of Isara-Remo Right of Occupancy over a quarry land measuring 55 hectares, located inside the 120 hectares of farmland in Peteku Sokabi Village, Isara-Remo, Remo North Local Government Area of the state.

The Head of the family, Pa Emmanuel Sokabi and two principal members of the family, Francis Banwo and Joseph Adewole Sodipe, had dragged Shola Olanrewaju and Ayoola Sokabi before the court, for expunging their names as joint owners of the vast land.

The claimants prayed the court to declare them as members of the Ondoko, Soyombo, Sokabi Family of Isara-Remo and joint owners who are entitled to exercise all possessory rights over the land.

Delivery his judgement on the case with suit number HC/209/2012 and instituted by the claimants on 13th December, 2012, the presiding judge, Justice A.A Babawale, averred that the traditional oral history relied upon by the court and the documents tendered indicated that the claimants have rights of ownership to the disputed land.

According to Justice Babawale, the claimants have been able to show before the court that they had more recent dealings on the land than the defendants.

“I have found above that both parties in this case lay claims to the land in dispute, by different traditional history. In testing the traditional histories by reference to the facts in recent years as established by evidence and by seeing which of the two competing histories is more probable, it is the claimants’ history that is more probable to me.

“The document (Exhibit DE4) relied upon by the defendants to show acts of possession by their forebears did not help the case of the defendants in my view. The facts as presented in this case by the defendants actually supported the position of the claimants. The quality of evidence produced before the court by the defendants is not satisfactory for me to hold on the balance of probability, that the defendants are entitled to the declaratory relief sought for by them on their claim of title to the land in dispute.

“Once the defendants have not succeeded on their declaratory relief for title, the counter claim of the defendants must fail. The counter claim fails therefore and it is dismissed”. The High Court judge submitted.

Justice Babawale who affirmed that the case of the claimants succeeded, therefore, declared that the claimants are members of descendants known as Ondoko, Soyombo Sokabi Family of Isara-Remo, Ogun State.

He added that “the claimants and the defendants being the descendants of Ondoko, Soyombo Sokabi Family of Isara-Remo, Ogun State are jointly entitled to exercise all possesory rights over the farmland situated at Peteku Sokabi Village, Isara-Remo, Ogun State bounded on its side by Olisa Farmland, Sore Farmland, Igba Farmland and Loparun Farmland”.

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