Ile Arugbo land dispute: Court adjourns suit to January 24 for hearing

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

Kwara state High Court sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, has fixed
January 24, 2020 for commencement of hearing proper on the case
between the state government and Asa Investment Ltd over the disputed land on which the demolished Ile Arugbo was built.

Agents of the state government had in a dawn operation on January 2nd 2019 demolished some structures on plots of land at the Ilofa road, GRA Ilorin, allegedly belonging to the late Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, alleging illegal acquisition.

Dissatisfied with the government’s action, Asa Investments Limited filed a motion ex-parte through its counsel, AbdulAzeez Ibrahim, for stay of execution on further demolition of the property.

The court accordingly restrained the defendants and anyone acting on
their behalf from further demolishing or further destroying the alleged property of the claimant.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, state House of Assembly, state
Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, Director General, Kwara Bureau of Lands and the Inspector General of Police are the defendants in the suit.

Earlier, counsel to Asa Investments Limited, AMe. bdulAzeez Ibrahim had told the court that the case was for hearing on motion on notice for interlocutory injunction, adding that he had filed motion ex-parte for service on defendants/respondents on substituted means.

He told the court that he had not been able to serve the fifth respondent
(IGP), saying that the “first to the fourth respondents had been
served and they responded too. But the fifth responded has not been
personally served.”

He said that the “motion on notice was dated and filed 13th and 14th
January, 2020 .

“The application for the motion ex-parte is supported by seven
paragraphs affidavit deposed to by one Ayo Ibrahim. We rely on all the
averments therein. We also filed a written address in support of the
affidavit. I pray the court to grant the order so that we can make
progress.”

Pending the time all the court processes would have been served the
fifth respondent, Ibrahim said “we are applying orally for the court
to order all the parties to maintain status-quo in the interest of
peace and justice as well as an extension of tenure of the
interlocutory injunction.”

In his reply, state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice,
Salman Jawondo said with respect to motion on substituted service, “we
can only be seen but not heard.”

He added that “we are opposed to the application of tenure extension
of the interlocutory injunction or whatever name it is called. The
application is also an invitation to chaos as the case has attracted much heat and attention even beyond its content.”

Ruling on the motion ex-parte for substituted service to the fifth
respondent, presiding judge, Justice A. A. Adebara granted the application.

“In this application, attempts at personal service to the fifth
respondent met the rock. I am satisfied that the service be made by
pasting court processes on the notice board in the premises of the
Kwara state police command, Ilorin, Kwara state,” he said.

Declining to make express statement on the application for tenure
elongation of the interlocutory injunction, Justice Adebara urged all
the parties in the case to maintain their calm and seek for peaceful resolution of the issue.

He said: “The first paramount thing for this court is to encourage all
parties to settle the case amicably out of court; nothing is impossible. Settlement out of court is never too late to explore. I
want the two sides to believe that by the special grace of God peace will prevail. I am appealing to the two sides that there should be a mutual understanding.”

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