A panel of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice has heard a petition by a Lagos lawyer, Monday Ubani, over the alleged demolition of his client’s property in Monkey Village, Lagos.
The lawyer had accused Gilbert Oladehinde Meadows and Akeem Abiodun Ariori of acting illegally in taking over the land.
Ariori was mandated by the Meadows family to develop the land at Folorunso Kuku Street in Opebi, Ikeja.
The state government, on January 10, set up a panel of enquiry on the disputed land.
Ubani had contended that his client had a Certificate of Occupancy and had occupied the land for years.
He asked the panel to direct the Meadows and Ariori to stop work on the land.
But, the panel, it was learnt, found that the land is owned by Gilbert Meadows.
The counsel to Ariori, Francis Monye, applauded the panelists for promptly resolving the issues.
Monye said Ubani ought to know better that a Certificate of Occupancy is mere evidence of title and is a nullity where no valid title exists.
Citing a legal authority, Ogunleye v Oni, the lawyer said: “In the instant case, what is the origin of the title of Mr Ubani’s client?
“He hasn’t supplied details or particulars of the Certificate of Occupancy to the general public so that his claims may be verified, yet he ran to the media space to castigate and cast aspersions on our client and the Meadows family without any factual justification.
“Ubani has also emphasised the act of long possession. Acts of long possession amount to mere probability of ownership and the party’s claim fails upon proof of a good root of title by the other party.
“In this context, Mr Ubani knows that the title of his client coupled with the long possession is that of a trespasser or a squatter and would not enable the latter to succeed against the Meadows.”
He said his clients acted within the law and were backed by the relevant documentation contrary to Ubani’s claims.