27th May, 2010
In a bid to forestall total take over of their ancestral land, harassment and intimidation, the Alaapa community via Mopo town in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria, has dragged a limited liability company, Newton Development Authority, before a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Also joined as parties in the ensuing legal battle are the Attorney-General of Lagos State and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Lagos State.
The Alaapa community is suing through five of their representatives, Chief Sikiru Akinlade, who is the baale; Mudasiru Animashaun, Alli Adisa, Yusuf Isaq and Saheed Sebila.
In an affidavit sworn to by Chief Akinlade on behalf of the Alaapa family and Mopo Ijebu village and filed before the court by Barrister Babatunde Ademoyo, it was averred that the land, measuring 131.469 hectares, belongs to Alaapa village in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Due to the policy of global land acquisition by the Lagos State government, the Alaapa community applied for the release of the land in form of exhibition for the use of their benefits.
However, sometime in 2006, the community noticed the presence of the agents of the defendants, who informed them that they were acquiring 50 hectares of the land for the use and benefit of a group of people known as Ajah Developers Association.
Consequently, Chief Akinlade averred further that he led other Alaapa community chiefs to the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to protest the resettling of other people on their land.
The Attorney-General represented by Alhaji Lawal Pedro, held a meeting with them and at the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the community should allow the Ajah Developers to use the community land.
Thereafter, the respondents promised that the community would be compensated and agreed to the amicable settlement.
Consequently, the communityâ€™s counsel wrote a letter to the respondents, urging them to fulfil their promises but refused to do that.
Chief Akinlade further averred that the respondents have begun to allocate the remaining portion of the land to private and commercial developers, who have taken physical possession of same.
The community contended that it has constitutional right to be compensated for the land compulsorily acquired by government and in view of this, the claimants urged the court, in the interest of justice, to restrain their privy from assigning or alienating the community’s land pending the determination of the suit.