A Lagos landowner, Princess Josephine Momoh, on Monday debunked claims that a court stopped her in February 2020 from taking possession of her land in Isheri-Olowora, Ikeja, including land on which Ikeja Saddle Club was built.
Momoh, whose family sold 10 acres of the land in Isheri-Olowora in Ikeja, Lagos to Alhaji Nurudeen Adeoye, said her ownership of the land was confirmed by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson of the Lagos State High Court on May 3, 2016, in Suit No 1D/1352/2001. She stated that supervised by court-appointed sherrifs, she took possession of the land, including land allegedly illegally occupied by Ikeja Saddle Club, thus fully executed the judgment on February 17, 2020.
Momoh, 75, explained that she was issued a form O (Certificate of Execution of writ of possession) by the court on February 18, 2020, concluding her possession of her property. It was afterwards, she added, that counsel representing the Olofin Chieftaincy Family – which was challenging her ownership of the property – filed an application for stay of further execution of the judgment.
Momoh and Adeoye absolved themselves of any illegal activity pertaining to the property as alleged by the Saddle Club in a petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Onikan, alleging “unlawful invasion” and demolition of the club.
The club’s counsel, A.A. Osara, alleged that the disputed land was part of the 1969, 7300 Acres Global Acquisition of the Lagos State Government, adding that there was an appeal to the Supreme Court coupled with a motion for a stay of execution pending at the apex court over the property.
But Momoh noted that the Club was not a party to any of the suits on the matter and advised it to take its complaints on the property to the Lagos State Government to whom it paid money for the land. “They should go to the state and ask them because I know that government transferred the land to them, like an allocation. Let them go and ask the people who put them there. What concerns me with them? They should go and sue the people who gave them that place,” she added.
Corroborating Momoh, Alhaji Adeoye explained that he bought the land after his lawyers investigated and were satisfied that there was no encumbrance whatsoever and Momoh had taken possession as evidenced by the Form O. According to him, when the club tried to prevent him from enjoying his property, he reported the case to the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers which invited all the parties, including the police and the Lagos State Government officials.
Saddle Club, he alleged, could not present to the Taskforce any survey plan excluding the land on which the club was built, from the judgment. The real estate developer appealed to the government and police to come to his aid and help him enjoy the fruits of the property he bought.
His counsel, Mr Olusegun Fabunmi, (SAN) affirmed the situation as narrated by Momoh and Adeoye. “Contrary to what was posited in a widely read newspaper on Sunday October 3, execution of such was never suspended as erroneously claimed. In fact execution was effectively and effectually concluded on the February 17, 2020 and form O (Certificate of Execution of writ of possession) granted on February 18, 2020;
“Thereafter counsel representing Olofin Chieftaincy Family filed an application for stay of further execution of the judgment. In essence, the land upon which Saddle Club was planted was already handed over to the Ikumoworo family and Princess Momoh by the High Court of Lagos State.”
He explained further that the appeal at the apex court was slated for first of March, 2021 “but because the appellant wasn’t ready, it was further slated to October 22, 2022. “This has nothing to do with Saddle Club. It’s purely a case between the family and Lagos State.”