Court grants woman leave to enforce 16 years’ land judgment

Justice Ganiyu Safari of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted leave to a woman, Alhaja Tayibat Adeniji, to enforce a judgment delivered by Justice A. O. Holloway (retd) on November 20, 2000 over a parcel of land at Soliyi, Ogudu, in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.

Justice Safari granted the application “in order for the judgment creditor/applicant to be able to reap the benefits of the judgment.”

In the court ruling, the judge held that, “I find merit in this application and hold that it is necessary to grant same in order for the judgment creditor/applicant to be able to reap the benefits of the judgment and ruling.

“Leave is, hereby, granted to the judgment creditor/applicant to enforce and execute the judgment of the Honourable Justice A. O. Holloway (rtd) delivered on the 20th of November 2000 and subsequent ruling by Honourable Justice D. Okuwobi on the 25th day of January, 2001, outside the statutorily prescribed period. This shall be the order of this court.”

Another judge of the court, Justice Okuwobi, had, on January 25, 2001, granted Adeniji possession of the land. On November 23, 2001, she refused an application by the plaintiffs to set aside the order of execution.

The plaintiffs, Babantunde Thomas and Anthony Olokodana, had sued Adeniji, claiming that they were entitled to be issued with a certificate of occupancy in respect of the land at Soliyi Village, Gbagada.

They also sought N500, 000 as damages, as well as an order restraining the defendant (Adeniji), from committing further trespass on the land.

Justice Holloway in his judgment in 2000 had held that the land belonged to Adeniji, stating that, “The defendant has produced receipt of money paid to the Oloto family and testified as to how the land was sold to her under the customary law.

“She would appear to have equitable interest on the land which is more than could be said of the plaintiffs. The defendant, therefore, has a better title and she is in possession.”

Adeniji had applied before Justice Okuwobi for a consequential order and warrant of possession, which she granted, ruling that “The applicant (Adeniji) is entitled to the possession of the land comprised in the judgment of this court delivered on 20th November 2000.

“I hereby make a consequential order that the plaintiffs give up possession of the said land covered by surveys KESH/2904A and KESH/L/2904B at Ogudu Soliyi, within Kosofe Local Government Area forthwith.”

Adeniji, on January 8, 2016, prayed Justice Safari for an order granting her leave to enforce/execute the judgment outside the statutorily prescribed time.

She said her inability to fully execute the judgment before six years elapsed was due to financial constraints, adding that she was now prepared to execute the judgment completely.