Counsel for the Elete Chieftaincy Family of Ete land, Ojo local Government, Akinniyi Akingboye has said that contrary to claims by the counsel to the Oniba of Iba, all the judgements up to the Supreme Court never at any time cede ownership of the villages of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa to the Oniba of Iba.
Akingboye said this in a statement in reaction to reports credited to the Oniba’s counsel, requesting the Governor of Lagos, Akinwumi Ambode to enforce the court judgement.
Akingboye said, “The Elete Chieftaincy Family under the auspices of its new Oba, HRM Nofiu Adaraloye Dauda Odu-Owoiya hereby wishes to establish once and for all the truth regarding the ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa villages in the Ojo local government area of Lagos State as against the stories by the Oniba and his counsel and of which the latter suddenly became a court to himself to interpret Judgement of Courts to suit his desire and that of his client (Oniba of Iba).”
He said, “It is quite elementary for Counsel (Oniba’s) to know better that the enforcement of Court Judgements does not fall within the purview of the duties of the Executive Governor of a State, hence the three arms of government. So, asking Ambode to do so is ridiculing the person and the office of the Chief Executive Officer of the State. This is tantamount to resorting to subtle blackmail in an attempt to arm-twist the government to dance to his (Oniba’s) clandestine wishes on the strength that the government was once a party in some of the cases. This we submit is most unwarranted and unacceptable.
“Quite alarming I must state, is the level of concealment of material facts by the duo, to wit Oniba and his counsel with regard to the ownership of the two villages, as aforesaid, which only truly resides in the Elete Chieftaincy Family.
“The subject matter of the judgements rests on trespass/injunction and how it could sustain a claim in possession and Chieftaincy respectively, not ownership of land and in fact the Oniba never filed a Counter- Claim.
“It is also apposite to quickly state at this juncture, though with utmost dismay, that all the allegations in the publication cum several petitions therein by the Oniba are also not only false but a gross attempt to mislead this government and entire lagosians to confer with ownership of what does not belong to him. We had recently addressed these issues, inter alia, in some letters to His Excellency and other department of government dated 9th May, 2017 and 6th June 2017 respectively.
“It is once again pure elementary Law that the mere fact that a party loses a case does not automatically confer the fruit of the judgement on the other party where the relief sought is not directly in issue. Worse still, there is no counter claim. This is the kernel or substratum of the Oniba’s case.
“On the deliberate concealment of material facts by the Oniba and his counsel, we submit that the several judgements relied upon by the Oniba had already been interpreted by Hon. Justice H. A. O. Abiru in a ruling in Suit No. ID/1991/2000: Oba Goriola Oseni (the Oniba of Iba) V. Disu Jimoh on 22nd March, 2002,wherein the court stated that the court of appeal(which later culminated into the Supreme Court judgement) did not invest the ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa villages in the Oniba of Iba. This matter, initiated by the Oniba, was however struck out and no appeal was lodged against same till date.
“Interestingly, counsel for oniba, Me Orisalade and myself were on opposite sides in the matter. Apart from this, the ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa villages was directly in issue in 2 other cases which Mr Orisalade decided to conceal for reasons best known to him having actively participated and lost.
“The first matter is the extant judgement delivered on 29th January 2008 in Suit No:ID/273/94: Chief Joshua Ajose V. Obadiah Olojede & 2Ors (we were equally in this matter together). It was held that ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa villages belong to the Elete Chieftaincy Family. The Court stressed at page 30 as follows: “…the issue in Exhibits C-C2 (the judgements relied upon by the Oniba) was not as regards ownership, it was only as regards possession…they traced their traditional history from Oniba of Iba, none of the members came to give evidence, there was no receipt, nothing, nothing to show that they are the owners of the land.”
Also at page 33, the court states as follows: “…I hereby having adjudged the defendants the owner, the Elete Chieftaincy Family the owner of the land in dispute and having adjudged the claimants as trespassers, I hereby restrain the claimants perpetually…henceforth.”
“Worthy of note here is that the claimant in the above case was illegally appointed by the Oniba’s baale over Ilemba Awori during the interregnum when Elete land has no Oba.
“Secondly and more recently on 17th December,2013 the high court in its extant judgement in Suit No: ID/1592/94 ceded the ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa amongst other villages in the Elete Chieftaincy Family via their counter claim.
“Consequent upon this, we are therefore taken aback about Oniba’s fear and apprehension of the truth coming to limelight by raising false alarm after so many years of deceit and concealment of the truth.
“The Oniba’s domain, we must quickly clear, is totally different from that of my clients from time immemorial going by the Report of Reorganisation of the Awori Area of Badagry, 1939. It clearly states the villages under Elete and Iba, classified under the Lagoon group (Elete) and the Central group(Iba) of which the villages of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa falls under the lagoon group (Elete) and rightly admitted by Oniba’s counsel in the publication(to his disadvantage) when he stated that Elete should confine themselves to the Riverine area. Also worthy of note is the fact that the oniba recently relied on theabobe Report to support his case against the people of Okokomaiko to confirm the villages under Iba group (which excludes Ilemba Hausa and Ilemba Awori villages).
“On a final note and most importantly, the Oniba and his counsel just filed an Originating Summons at the High Court on 20thApril, 2017 in Suit No: BD/1760GCM/2017 seeking the determination of several questions culminating into another interpretation of the judgements earlier interpreted by Coram H.A.O. Abiru,J, but concealed by them.
“Upon the strength of the above expose, we therefore urge the Oniba to patiently complete the above case just instituted by him and not constitute himself into a busy-body by allowing the courts carry out their duty rather than arm-twist the government of the day to enforce a court judgement in his favour.
“It is rather sad to note nowadays that counsels convert outer dicta to real decision of court. The courts cannot make an authoritative pronouncement in matters that do not form the real subject matter of the case before them. For this reason, any such statements are regarded as obiter dicta- statements made by the way; in passing. And so I shall state categorically that there is no judgement of any court placed before the whole world by the oniba of Iba proving his assertion of ownership of Ilemba Awori and Ilemba Hausa villages, the subject matter of the publication.
“We therefore crave the indulgence of the Executive Governor of Lagos State and all the relevant state departments to quickly wade into this matter and bring to a halt a seemingly subtle incitement of the members of the public by the Oniba and his cronies upon a request that he has already filed a case for, but concealed same. The court rooms are not yet closed for an aggrieved party to seek redress.”