Monkey Village: Ubani Defeated At Panel Of Inquiry As Family Commends Lagos Govt

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The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has set up a panel of inquiry to settle the lingering land tussle between a Lagos-based lawyer, Monday Ubani, Gilbert Oladehinde Meadow's Family and Engineer Akeem Abiodun Ariori over Monkey Village, situated at Opebi area of the state. Ariori, the chairman Prosperous Ariori Golden Ventures, was given a mandate by the Meadows family to develop the land at Folorunso Kuku street in Opebi area of the state. It will be recalled that Ubani had accused the Lagos state government and its agency for being biased and working in connivance with engineer Ariori for illegally encroachment of his client's land eventhough he failed to mention the names of his client in the purported article. The state government on Monday 10th of January 2021 had set up a panel of enquiry to look in to the disputed land in question and all parties were invited and submitted their unbiased investigations on the purported expanse of Land. Ubani’s purported Certificate of occupancy was floored by the panelist as it was referred to as a paper that does not have origin. Ubani had also begged the panelist to instruct the Meadows and Engineer Abiodun Ariori to stop work on the land, but the panel declined as original survey of the land proved that the land is owned by Gilbert Meadows, adding that Ariori is an attorney to the purported land. The counsel to Ariori, Francis Monye applauded the panelist and explained to the media on facts about the purported Land in question. Monye in his remark said that Ubani had alluded to the fact that his client has a Certificate of Occupancy over the land, saying that the lawyer should know better that a Certificate of Occupancy is mere evidence of title; it is a nullity where no valid title exists. According to him, "This proposition of the law was fairly settled per Nnaemeka-Agu JSC in Ogunleye v Oni as follows: “No doubt, proof of a grant is one of the five ways of proving title……… But it would be wrong to assume, as learned trial judge did in this case, that all that a person who resorts to a grant as a method of proving title to land needs to do is to produce the document of grant and rest his case. Rather, whereas, depending upon the issues that emerged on the pleadings, it may suffice where the title of the grantor has been admitted, a different situation arises….. Where an issue has been raised as to the title of the grantor. "In such a case, the origin of the grantor’s title has to be averred on the pleadings and proved by evidence. In the instant case, what is the origin of the title of Mr. Ubani’s Client. He hasn’t supplied details or particulars of the Certificate of Occupancy to the general public so that his claims may be verified, yet he ran to the media space to castigate and cast aspersions on our Client and the Meadows family without any factual justification. "Ubani has also emphasised the act of long possession, acts of long possession amount to mere probability of ownership and the party’s claim fails upon proof of a good root of title by the other party. In this context, Mr Ubani knows that the title of his client coupled with the long possession is that of a trespasser or a squatter and would not enable the latter to succeed against the Meadows. "Furthermore, the law is that acts of ownership must be numerous and positive, to be positive, the acts must be assertive not passive, adverse not consistent with the claim of the other party. It is on record that the occupier of No. 2 Foluronsho Kuku Street, Opebi in the person of Chief S.F. Kuku had sued the Meadows Family in Suit No: ID/1270/90 over the land covered by Certificate of Occupancy dated 3rd July 1986 registered as 15/15/1986H and also the occupier of 8, Ibadan Close, Opebi, Ikeja whose Certificate of Occupancy was registered No. 52/52/1991AP all came to ratify their title with the Meadows Family after the pronouncement of their Ownership to the land covered by the judgment of the High Court of Lagos State and affirmed by the Court of Appeal. "All these properties falls within the land covered by the survey Mr. Ubani should state the contrary if the address of the land is not No. 1 Folorunsho Kuku Street. All these properties fall within Survey No OGEK 1911/81 ordered by the Court in Suit No: LD /513/80. We leave it at this for now. However, we just want the general public to know particularly the Lagos State Government that our Client in the person of Engineer Abiodun Ariori acted within the confines of the law. Do not be swayed by the hypocrisy of Mr. M.O. Ubani." When contacted, Ubani, via a telephone call, said the land has a certificate of occupancy of over 30 years and the matter is presently in court.

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