Ogba Zoo vs EDHA Deputy Speaker, court adjourns ruling to 6 Oct.

By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City

 Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, on Monday, adjourned ruling on the case involving a parcel of land belonging to Ogba Zoo purportedly trespassed upon by the Deputy Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie and others.

The suit No B/302/2017 Everel Services Ltd vs Elizabeth Ativie, John Inegbedion and others was presided over by Justice Ada  Ehigiamusoe .

In his submission, counsel to the defendant applicants, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi who relied on a six paragraph affidavits and a written address dated 6 June, 2017 said his clients were officially issued certificate of occupancy by the state government on the said parcel of land.

Afolabi argued that the name of the state government who is the rightful owner of the land also featured in the lease agreement

 He also posited that there was never a time the claimant complied with condition of rent payments as stipulated by the state government.

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the petition filed by the claimant for lack of merit.

“Their hands are dirty, they need a packet of Omo to wash their hands clean because he that seeks equity, must come with a clean hands”, he said.

 In his argument Counsel  to the claimant, Barr. Joseph Jones Osadiaye, said his client was not owing as claimed by counsel to the defendant as payment was made from January to June adding that the issue of rejoinder remains a nullity in this case

While expressing hope that the court will rule in his favour, Managing Director, Ogba Zoo, Mr. Andy Ehanire said the Zoo is a heritage of Edo State and it is in the overriding public interest that the matter should be carefully considered by the court because public interest supersedes private interests.

“The state government does not own these parties anything beyond their salaries. So, to cede off property that have been ancillary to the Zoo, it is de-service to humanity to the state. So, the court will have to look into this matter very carefully and we believe will have a very good case because we are in the interest of the state”, he said.


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