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Land Dispute: Gbagede Community Triumphs In Court

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

Onigbagede of Gbagede community in Ifelodun local government area of Kwara State, Oba Abdulhakeem Kayode Ishola, has ordered all illegal occupants of landed property belonging to Gbagede community to vacate them forthwith or face the full wrath of the law.

The monarch, in a statement, said the latest judgment of the High Court sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, has vindicated the community against all illegal occupants of the community’s landed property.

The High Court had in a judgment delivered by Justice T.S. Umar on June 24, 2020 struck out a case filed against Oba Abdulhakeem Kayode Ishola by the Oluganna of Ganmo and one Adetunji Fagbemi.

Recall that the Oluganna of Ganmo and one Mr Adetunji Fagbemi had on May 21, 2019 instituted a legal action against Onigbagede of Gbagede community seeking a declaration that the entire land of Gbagede community belongs to the family of Oluganna of Ganmo.

The 1st claimant (Oluganna) had argued that, by the judgment of the Supreme Court vide suit No: CA/69/90 and SC/96, the ownership of any part of Gbagede community land, including the land in dispute, belongs to the Oluganna of Ganmo family.

Justice Umar, however, in his ruling has declared that the apex court judgment being referred to by Oluganna of Ganmo covered only 22.65 Acres as contained in the Customary Right of Occupancy, adding that there was nothing to show that the 1st claimant’s land extends to Gbagede community, including the land in dispute.

The Judge averred that a relief of declaration of title, being discretionary, cannot be granted by any court when the identity of the land was not clear and ambiguous.

He said: “Whenever a plaintiff fails to establish the identity of the land to which his claim of ownership or title relates, his evidence at the trial, whether oral or documentary, cannot in law grant a declaration of title in his favour.”

Justice Umar consequently struck out the case of the claimants “for lacking in merit and incompetence.”

Relying on the judgment, Oba Alhaji Abdulhakeem Kayode Ishola, admonished those who had purportedly purchased any land belonging to Gbagede community from unauthorised persons to vacate the property or face the full wrath of the law, warning that Gbagede community under his leadership would enforce the judgment to the letter in order to protect the property and heritage of the community.

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