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(2017) LPELR-43266(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 20th day of October, 2017


Before Their Lordships

MONICA BOLNA'AN DONGBAN-MENSEM Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MODUPE FASANMI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

CHINWE EUGENIA IYIZOBA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria




MUKAILA OGUNTADE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on Land Law.

The appeal arose against the judgment of the High Court of Ogun State, Ilaro Judicial Division, delivered by Onafowokan J.

???The case of the Respondent was that the land in dispute described in his survey plan, Exhibit D, is a portion of a large expanse of land which originally belonged to one Oteniya a native of Ajilete who first settled on the land. Oteniya had two children, Jagundina and Alarotan. Oteniya had a worker named Akinleye who lived in his house. It was alleged that Akinleye put Alarotan in the family way and fled with her to Ado-Odo where Alarotan delivered a baby boy called Oguntade. When Oteniya heard the news, he demanded that Akinleye and Alarotan return to him. Upon their return, Oteniya gave his farm land at Oke-Ogbon forest to Alarotan and she and her husband went and settled on the land, built their house there and also invited their friends Lediju, Odunbunu, and Adesiyan from Ado-Odo to come and farm on the land which later became known as Ago-Ishaga. The case of the respondent was that the land did not belong to his ancestor Akinleye; but to Oguntade by inheritance through his mother, Alarotan.

The Appellant's case on the other hand was that the land in dispute is a portion of land founded and settled upon by Akinleye from time immemorial and that before Akinleye died he shared his land amongst his children on Idi-Igi basis. That the land in dispute is a portion of land shared to his great grandmother's Idi-Igi. The Appellant therefore laid claims on the disputed land as a descendant of Akinleye but the Respondent alleged that the Appellant is not even a descendant of Akinleye.

The Respondent claimed the following reliefs against the appellant at the trial Court:
(a) Declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to the Customary Right of Occupancy in respect of all that farmland situate at Ishaga Area in Owode, Ogun State.
(b) The sum of N5, 000.00 only as damages for trespass.
(c) Perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents or privies from further trespass unto the land.

???Pleadings were filed and exchanged by the parties. At the end of the trial, the Court found in favour of the respondent. Appellant being dissatisfied with the judgment appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The following issues were resolved in the appeal:
1. Whether the learned trial judge was right when he held that the Respondent possesses the locus standi to institute this action having regard to the circumstances of this case.
2. Whether the failure and/or omission of the learned trial judge to resolve the issue of paternity of Teju in respect of which issues were joined by the parties occasioned a miscarriage of justice in this case.
3. Whether the learned trial judge was right to have rejected the traditional history of the Appellant simply because it was not tied to a survey plan and to uphold the traditional history of the Respondent having regard to the circumstances of this case.
In the final analysis, the appeal was dismissed for lacking in merit. Cost of N50, 000 was awarded in favour of the Respondent.

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