Court orders Lagos Govt. to return seized Ikorodu land

The Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has declared as unlawful and null and void the decision of the Lagos State Government to seize a parcel of land with Survey Plan No. LS/D/KD/563D located at the Imota Agro Industrial Park in the Ikorodu area of the state.

 

The court, in a judgment by Justice S.S. Ogunsanya, ordered the state to return the land to Abayomi Sadiku, trading under the name Vernia Legal Practitioners, who had in 2013 purchased the land, measuring 1,000 square metres, for N1m.

 

According to a certified true copy of the April 13, 2022 judgment sighted on Saturday, the claimant had been issued with an allocation letter in respect of the land on December 4, 2014, before the Lagos State Government, through a July 2016 publication, announced the revocation of the allocated land.

 

Displeased, the claimant approached the court, praying for a declaration that the action of the state was in contravention of the provisions of Section 28 (1)(2)(3)and(6) and Section 44(a)(b) of the Land Use Act, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 1978.

 

He urged the court to nullify the action and order that the land be restored to him.

 

Listed as defendants in the suit were the Governor of Lagos State; the Lagos State Government; the state’s Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives; and the state’s Attorney General.

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Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Ogunsanya said, “The court finds that the claimant is entitled to a statutory right of occupancy over the subject land and I so hold.

 

“The court finds that the defendants were unable to satisfactorily establish compliance with the provisions of the law on the revocation of the right of occupancy of the claimant.”

 

While declaring that the Lagos State Government failed to comply with the provisions of Section 28(6) of the Land Use Act, the judge ordered the state to “restore onto the claimant the land allocated to him on 4th December, 2014 and in the event that the land is no longer available, the claimant is to be compensated and resettled on a land equal in value to the parcel of land unlawfully acquired by the defendants.”

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In addition, the judge ordered the state to pay the claimant N3m general damages with 21 per cent interest per annum.

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