Court resolves 6-year-old land dispute
Fasusi Martins, Okitipupa
An Okitipupa Grade A Magistrate Court on Thursday, laid to rest a six-year-old land dispute between one Mr Ekundayo Francis and Mr. Monogbe Russia.
Delivering the judgement, the presiding Magistrate Mr Adedeji O. Adebisi, held that the plaintiff, Mr Francis Ekundayo, is the rightful owner of the land.
The plaintiff, Mr Francis Ekundayo had in his summons asked the court to grant him ownership and entitlement to customary right of all the parcel of land situated at Okitipupa/ Ode Aye road which he said he bought from Monogbe family .
He also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant either by himself, agents, privies servants or by any person whosoever claiming through him from continuing or trespass on the land.
He, therefore, asked for N100,000 damages against the defendant for unlawful destruction of his crops.
During the cross examination, Ekundayo said, “when I first bought my land, he (the defendant) didn’t have any land around the place. But after three years, he bought a land. He even bought 200 blocks from me and managed to pay for only 100 blocks. He has not paid for the remaining 100 blocks till date.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. A. I Erugba, told the court that his client was the rightful owner of the land, saying the defendant, Mr. Monogbe Russia only came to buy the adjoining land with a road demarcation on the left side of the land.
He called four witnesses to support his claim and tendered the sale of land agreement that was issued when his client bought the land on October 23, 2008.
The defence counsel, Omolegbon Odusola ESq, told the court that the said land belonged to his client which was corroborated by the defendant’s testimony during cross examination
” I didn’t trespass on the plaintiff’s land and I have not seen him there before. I didn’t destroy any of his crops, “he explained.
After carefully evaluating the evidence on both sides, His Worship, Adedeji O. Adebisi said that the plaintiff did not abide by some technicalities in prosecuting the matter.
“But I will not wish a party with a deserving justice on the weight of evidence in the court record lose in his case before me on technical grounds as a result of tardiness of his counsel.
Consequently, Adedeji ruled that the plaintiff, Mr. Ekundayo Francis is the right owner of the land in dispute and he is the person entitled to the customary right of occupying the said land.
For the defendant to have crossed the road demarcating his purported piece of land to the plaintiff the magistrate awarded him N95000 as general damages against him in favour of the plaintiff.
He concluded that the defendant should also forfeit instantly any trespassing structure of the disputed land to the plaintiff .