Fear of imminent demolition of their houses and property has triggered anxiety and sleepless nights among landlords in New World City, Ugbuwangue, Warri following a High Court Judgment after over 17 years of legal tussle.
Delivering her judgment Hon. Justice Roli Daibo Harriman on 08/05/2020 in Suit No. W/31/2003 between Mrs. Emily Sisan Okotie (Claimant) and Mr. Agindotan Yonwuren, Mr. Gboro Ajanemiwa and 8 others(defendants) noted that “this over 17 years old case has suffered a chequered history even up to 2018 when I received warrant starting the case denovo”.
Trouble started when the claimant dragged the defendants before the court for encroaching and trespassing on her fathers’ land and selling same to third parties and acquiring portions to themselves.
After all the many years of legal rigmarole, Hon. Justice R.D. Harriman stated that “…..is consequently entitled to the Statutory Rights of Occupancy in accordance with the Land Use Act….the purported alienation of the land in dispute made by the defendants either to themselves or any person is wrongful, illegal, null and void and is of no effect whatsoever”, and awarded 500,000.00 damages against the defendants for trespass.
Speaking on the judgment, Mrs. Emily Okotie stated that “it is payback time. It will not take any time for the Appeal and Supreme Courts to strike out their suit if they decide to go further. They have better start coming for settlement or the bulldozers would be brought in to demolish their houses”, she emphasized.
Some of the affected persons who spoke on the matter on condition of anonymity stated that they are now confused because even those who sold land to them are affected. We can no longer muster enough cash to make any reasonable payment again, saying that is why we are all angry, worried and confused, they remarked