The family of Efunloye Tinubu has taken over a property at Akobi Crescent, Surulere, eight years after winning a three-year legal tussle.
A retired colonel, Tunde Oyedele had challenge the family members in a suit number, M/294/2010 asking the court to declare him sole administrator of a land measuring 8.994 acres located at Akobi Crescent, off Fashoro Lane, Surulere.
After the judgement of the state High Court delivered in 2013, Colonel Oyedele didn’t appeal within the stipulated time required by law.
The development makes the family to take possession of over fifty houses erected on the land as part of the 8.994 acres having not challenged the judgement
Oyedele had, in his evidence before the court by way of two depositions dated 23/06/11 and 11/07/11 which he adopted as his evidence in chief and are marked as Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively claimed to be owner of the vast land, which is covered by a Deed of Conveyance dated 03/02/1976 and registered as NO: 98 at page 98 in Volume 2263 at the Lands Registry Lagos.
That he purchased the subject matter from the late Madam lyalode Tinubu family through one Garuba Bakare of Agbole Tinubu, Ojokodo, Abeokuta, who acted for and on behalf of the vendor family.
That the subject matter formed a part of the land which originally belonged to late Madam lyalode Tinubu from time immemorial under the Yoruba native law and custom.
That she enjoyed undisputed possession of the land and exercised undisputed ownership thereon.
He further stated that at all times material to the death of his vendor, and thereafter, Garuba Bakare was the head of the Tinubu family.
That upon the demise of Madam Iyalode Tinubu the appointment of Garuba Bakare as the head of the Tinubu family affirmed by the Supreme Court in Suit NO: M/35/1955.
That Garuba Bakare was appointed as the sole administrator of the Estate of the late Madam Iyalode Tinubu until new trustees were appointed.
That the Supreme Court judgement was subsequently re-affirmed by an order of the High Court of Lagos made on 03/08/1965 in Suit NO: M/3/1965 wherein Garuba Bakare was appointed the head of the Tinubu family and seven other persons made trustees over the estate of the late Madam lyalode Tinubu.
However in his ruling, Justice Atinuke Ipaye of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja dismissed the claimants arguement
“I am satisfied that the counter-claimants have established their clear and exclusive possession of the subject property as shown on Exhibits 21(a) (g), 29, and 30.
“Under cross examination, since Colonel Tunde Oyedele allegedly purchased the subject matter in 1967, he did not erect any dwelling house or other structure on it, he also admitted that he has never alienated, sold or leased any portion of it to third parties.
“That no street on the large expanse of land has been named after him. Equally, he was unable to state how much he allegedly spent in his construction of the perimeter fence he allegedly constructed round the almost 9 acres of land.
“He was unable to bring forward the builder of the said fence or show receipts of evidencing of purchase of building materials for such an extensive construction.
“Equally he was unable to mention the name and or whereabouts of the persons he allegedly placed on the land to weed same.
“All this tends to show that at no material time was the defendant to counterclaim ever in possession of the said subject property and I so hold.
“I believe the testimony of DW1 and DW 2, which I find credible that they are members of the Tinubu family and have remained in possession of same from time immemorial.
“The court hereby declare the sale of 8.998 acres of land by Garuba Bakare to the claimant, (Colonel Tunde Oyedele) as evidence by the Deed of Conveyance dated 3rd of February 1976 as invalid, null and void.
“Also the deed of conveyance dated 03/02/76 registered as NO: 98 at page 98 in volume 2263 is hereby REVOKED.
“Lastly the court hereby award the sum of one hundred thousand naira to the defendant as general damages for the claimant’s unlawful invasion and trespass to the defendant land in Idi Oro, Surulere, Lagos,” the judge ruled.