Land Tussle: UBA Institutes Contempt Suit against Land Grabber

A contempt proceeding has been initiated by the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Co-operative Multipurpose Society Ltd against one Alhaji Kamorudeen Lamina (aka sir K), before an Ogun State High Court sitting in Sagamu over allegation of disobedience to a lawful order of the court.

It would be recalled that Form 48, which normally is a notice of consequence of disobedience of court order, had been issued and served on Lamina.


Counsel to the claimant, Yemi Omodele had initiated a Motion for Leave to Effect Service on the alleged contemnor with forms 48 and 49.


With this development, Lamina is expected to explain why an order for committal to prison should not be made against him.


It would also be recalled that the Ogun State High Court, presided over by Justice Osinuga had on April 1, 2015 issued an interlocutory injunction restraining the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), it agents or representatives from carrying out any form of construction on a landed property situated at Ewu Odofin Village, in Sagamu Local Government area of Ogun State.


The judge arrived at the decision in an action initiated by UBA Co-operative Multipurpose Society Ltd. against the Registered Trustee of RCCG over the land measuring about 30.7 acres which is in dispute.


The court in its ruling made an observation that RCCG was properly served with all court processes, but it (the Church) however failed/refused to file any counter-affidavit to same.


However, sometime in April 7, 2015, the church in its application asked the judge to throw out the order. However, Justice Osinuga in a ruling she gave on July 22, 2015 dismantled the application with an award of cost to the tune of N10, 000.00 in favour of the claimant.

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According to a 20-paragraph affidavit in support of the Notice of Committal deposed to by the Secretary /Principal member of Olowototo Olisa chieftancy family, Sanya Odubanjo sequel to the order of interlocutory injunction made against RCCG, the church allegedly engaged the services of Lamina (land speculator) who was alleged to have invaded the village and chased out residents.


The Deponent argued that Lamina got into the village with armed men shooting and immediately started bulldozing the land in contention with the intention of commencing construction on it.


Odubanjo noted that in spite of the order of court, RCCG together with its agents have commenced construction on the land under dispute, with an addition that the attitude of the defendant remains an indication that it lacked respect for the court.


The Deponent added that it would be in the interest of justice for the contemnor to be committed to prison for disobedience to the valid order of court.


In its Motion on Notice instituted by its lawyer, the Claimant prayed the court to issue a, “Declaration that it is the legitimate owner of the expanse of land covered by Survey Plan No- OG/854/2013 dated October 31, 2013. The prayer reads:


“Declare that the alleged invasion/destruction of the fence, gate, security house, buildings, boreholes and other building materials on the land by agent of the RCCG on November 28, 2014 was illegal and unconstitutional.”


In a 38-praragraph affidavit in support of the Motion of Notice deposed to by one Sylvester Oyaminelen, secretary to the Claimant, it was argued that the Claimant bought the land in contention from the Olowoto-Olisa chieftancy family of Ewu-Odofin village and immediately took possession and started construction.

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The Claimant added that it fenced the land and dugged bore-holes with industrial water tanks at a cost of N50 million.


It was also the contention of the Deponent that on November 28, 2014, the defendant through its agents allegedly destroyed the fence and other buildings erected on the land and started constructing its own buildings.


Oyaminelen argued that unless the Defendant is restrained, it will continue to build on the land and thereby jeopardise the suit and it will suffer irreparable loss.


The Deponent prayed the judge to award the sum of N50 million as general damages against the Defendant.


Meanwhile, there is a sister suit designated HCS/114/2010 made by five members of Olowoto-Olisa Chieftaincy family of Ewu-Odofin Village against RCCG. The members of the chieftaincy family include; Chief Adeboye Jaiyesimi, Alhaji Jamiu Ayodeji, Chief Jinadu Obisola, Chief Adebonpe Oduntan and one Ganiyu Ayodeji (for themselves and on behalf of Olowoto-Olisa Chieftaincy family of Ewu-Odofin Village). They want the court to restrain the Defendant, their servants, agents or privies from selling or leasing any portion of the land in dispute with the above plan number.


However, the Registered Trustees of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in their amended statement of defence initiated by their lawyer, Mrs. Ronke Adejetunmobi insisted that they did not commit any act of trespass on any parcel of land belonging to the claimants.


The lawyer also insisted that it was some members of the claimants’ family with their cohorts that were striving to unlawfully enter into the land purchased by the RCCG.

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