Members of Maade royal family of Agbowa-Ikosi of Lagos State have asked the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, to set aside a judgment of a Lagos Hhigh Court sitting in Ikorodu over land at Atere Ikosi area of the state.
The family also warned unsuspecting public not to buy land at Atere Ikosi as dispute over the property is still pending before the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division in appeal No-CA/LAG/CV/1154/19.
The family, in their record of appeal filed by their lawyer, Babatunde Ogunwo, argued that there was miscarriage of justice in the judgment of the lower court delivered by Justice Lawal-Akapo, hence urged the appellate court to set it aside.
Lawal-Akapo had, in his judgment, held that the land in dispute belong to Ogunde family.
The appellants stated that the conclusion reached by the trial judge contradicts the statement of defence and counter claim dated March 14, 2018, submitting that it is trite that court can only rely on an admission when same is clear, precise and unambiguous.
The appellant added that there is uncontroverted evidence from DW2 (Chief Michael Balogun) that his family is a customary tenant of the appellants’ family and not to Ogunde family as claimed in the pleading of the respondents.
The appellant stated that the late Oba J.A.B Odumeru, who was the paramount ruler of Agbowa-Ikosi, confirmed the appellants’ family as the owner of the land in dispute.
They added that there were admitted documentary evidence showing the appellants’ family’s various acts of sale, lease and control of the disputed land.
The appellants stated that it is trite that documentary evidence cannot be contradicted by oral evidence, arguing that both the traditional history and acts of ownership and possession by the appellants were not challenged by the respondents at trial.
The appellant stated that the learned trial judge erred in law when he found that exhibit P8 strengthens and makes the respondents’ case more probable having been identified as one of the ruling houses in Agbowa-Ikosi
The family maintained that there was no credible evidence on record to support the findings of the trial court, adding that the respondents, neither pleaded or led evidence on ownership of other lands adjoining with the land in dispute to raise a probability of ownership in favour of the respondents’ family.
The appellant stated that the learned trial judge erred in law when he failed to properly evaluate and weigh the totality of evidence of traditional history and acts of ownership and possession adduced by both parties and this has occasioned a miscarriage of justice.
The appellant argued that by the admitted bodily evidence, the appellants discharged the burden to prove joint ownership of the land in dispute with members of the Maade family from the Odumeru stock.
The appellant added there are no credible evidence as to the value of the crops allegedly lost by the respondents therefore the award of damages was arbitrary and contrary to established legal principles.
The appellants argued that the trial judge erred in law when he concluded that the evidence of DW4 and DW5 asserting the jointly own the land in dispute with the 1st and 2nd claimants constitute an admission against interest that the claimants are the owners of the disputed land.