Land: Court Rules In Favour Of Osolu Family


The recurring war over who actually owns the land of Iyagbe-Irewe village in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State is age-long and has pitted so many parties against each other in series of litigation.

The legal battles are between parties that are either claiming ownership of the land by proxies or that their progenitors were the original owners of the land.

Ownership of the land has been severally contested in law courts dating back to 3 July, 1942, when the matter was brought before the Supreme Court presided over by the late Justice William Dutler.

In his judgment, he said that the four consolidated cases were the latest stage in the litigation that had been going on between the families of Osolu of Irewe and the neighbouring villages which Iyagbe is the principal for nearly 20 years.

Describing the painstaking efforts he put into arriving at his judgment, he said “I have been at some pains to trace the various cases.”

According to him, in the first case number 136/25 Akingbade, Baale of Irewe and his predecessor in title of the village sued one Ogunbiyi and some members of the Aromire family seeking for a declaration that the land at Iyagbe was his family property and that he has been collecting rent from Ogunbiyi.

This assertion made the court to hold that the plaintiff had established his ownership of the land in the customary sense shown on a plan which was marked as “Exhibit A” in the case and included the villages of Iyagbe and Ishanayo.

The plaintiff also got judgment for rent against Ogunbiyi.

In another related case number 125/31 held at the District of Ikeja, the same plaintiff got judgment for rent in respect of land at Iyagbe.

In another case, there were cross actions between Akingbade, the Baale and Rufai Durosinmi and others, relating to rents collected from fishermen occupying villages on the lagoon between Ishaye and Moba, The cases were settled by the apportionment of the proceeds between Akingbade and some descendants of Osolu.

In case 32/35, Shangogbemi and others sued Akingbade for a declaration that they, as decendants of Osolu, were entitled to occupy certain land at Iyagbe rent-free. It was settled by judgment with omission of the word “as decendants of Osolu.”

In conclusion, the judge said the evidence of the defence contradicted in every particular, the allegation in the statement of claim in some of the cases and consequently had no hesitation in holding that Osolu family had made out its case and it is entitled to judgment.

He then awarded 15 guineas and one pound, ten shillings against the defendants.

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