Former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has filed a suit against Governor Seyi Makinde over the revocation of his landed property at Agodi Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Also sued alongside the governor is the State Attorney General, the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
The former governor is also claiming the sum of N15million from the defendants being the cost of the action, including the expenses incurred to file each of the cases, and his attorney’s professional fees.
READ President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep regrets while attending the International Cocoa Summit in the Federal Capital Territory. President Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regrets over the neglect of the cocoa sector over the years, saying his administration will work to reposition it and other non-oil export commodities. According to The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) Buhari said this at the First International Cocoa Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in collaboration with Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Abuja on Monday. The President, represented by Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the country’s annual production of cocoa declined from 420,000 tonnes in the 60s to 192,000 tonnes in 2015. He noted that the position of the country had dropped from being the fourth global cocoa producing country to the seventh. Buhari said that the theme of the conference titled ‘Cocoa, a strategic Commodity for National Economic Development’, was apt as it was in line with his administration’s agenda to diversify the economy of the country. He appealed to stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Government to improve the production, packaging and marketing of non-oil export commodities. “This sector has suffered neglect as a result of over reliance on crude oil. “Government is working hard to improve the business environment for local and foreign investors as well as encouraging the development of domestic consumption. “The Federal Government is committed to restoring the agricultural and industrial sector to its prime position and I call on all stakeholders to key into the government policy of promotion of non-oil export as an alternative source of revenue. “I wish to assure you that the implementation of our reforms of the Ease of Doing Business will be the backbone for the repositioning of the cocoa sub- sector in Nigeria,’’ he said. In a message, Sen. Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate, called on state governors to make land available to youth farmers to cultivate cocoa. Saraki, represented by Sen. Yusuf Abdullahi Yusuf (Taraba Central), assured cocoa farmers that the National Assembly would consider legislation aimed at promoting cocoa production in the country. In his words, Ogbeh said that Federal Government was planning a relaunch of cocoa production in the South-West part of the country. The minister, who said that Ondo and Cross River States produced 60 per cent of cocoa in the country, appealed to other states to join in the production to promote non-oil export. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the summit would enable stakeholders to brainstorm with a view to achieving economic diversification and maximum return on investments. The President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr Sayina Riman, said that a five year strategic plan would be formulated at the end of the conference to move the sector forward. “This sector is apt because we will arrive at a document to upscale Nigeria cocoa production.’’ Dr Jean-Marc Anga, the Executive Director, International Cocoa Organisation, said the organisation would assist the country in the implementation of its action plan on cocoa. Anga said that research and development was a major driving force toward improving cocoa production in Nigeria. “We will assist Nigeria to develop a plan on cocoa but emphasis should be on quality and value addition,’’ Anga said. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government at the conference declared cocoa as a national drink for citizens of the country.
The matter involves the revocation of a property owned by Ajimobi in Agodi, Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to which the former governor has filed four suits numbered; I/183/2020, I/184/2020, I/185/2020 and I/186/2020 at the State’s High Court.
The Oyo State Registrar of Deeds has been listed as a witness to be subpoenaed by Ajimobi during the trial.
In the document before the court, Senator Ajimobi is contesting the basis of the notice which was sent by the state government on the 31st of January, 2020. The letter entitled, “ NOTICE OF INTENTION TO REVOKE INTEREST ON PORTION OF STATE LAND AT AGODI GOVERNMENT RESERVATION AREA, IBADAN, was sent by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development allegedly on the instruction of Governor Makinde, who was listed as the first defendant in the case.
It was received by one Ms. Blessing on the 6th of February, 2020 via a Red Star Express Courier Service. In the claims, the former governor is seeking; An order of perpetual injunction, stopping the state government from revoking the property with a Certificate of Right of Occupancy dated 6th February 2019 and registered as No. 56 at Page 56 in Volume 3771 of the Lands Registry Office; An order of injunction against the defendants, their servants, agents and privies, to stop the listed persons from restraining any developmental work, or causing a disturbance on the said property, describing the revocation as “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and one not borne of good intention.”
According to the documents filed by the legal counsel of the former governor, the property to be revoked is no longer existent in name as it was merged with another property by the claimant with the “landed property comprised in the Deed of Gift, dated March 17th, 2015 between the former governor and Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao, the late Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland. It is registered as No. 17 at Page 17 in Volume 3714 of the Deeds Registry Office, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.”
According to Ajimobi, the land in dispute was donated to him by Alhaji Alao and was acquired by him by the virtue of Statutory Right of Occupancy dated February 10th, 2009 and registered as No. 35 at Page 35 in Volume 3556 of the Lands Registry Office, Ibadan. The donor was said to have enjoyed undisturbed possession of the land before donating it to the claimant.
It was also merged with the property registered as No. 16 at Page 16 in Volume 3714 of the Lands Registry Office, Ibadan, and was fenced round for the development of guest chalets, church, mosque, recreation areas and the country home of the former Governor.
According to the documents, the former Governor has not breached any of the covenant running on the land.