Epe Land Tussle: Iposu Family Sues For Peace Aftermath Of Court Judgment

High Chief Wale Mogaji, Head of Iposu Chieftaincy Family

The Iposu Chieftaincy Family of Epe, Lagos State, called on the people of Epe to be law abiding and maintain peace, despite the recent court judgment 

The chieftaincy family also appeal to the law enforcement agencies to maintain the peace, so that the judgment, which is set for appeal is not used to foment trouble in Epe. 

High Chief Wale Mogaji, the head of the chieftaincy family, made the appeal sequel a recent court judgment delivered by Justice S. A. Olaitan of Epe High Court, which granted the ownership of large expanse of land at Akesan area of Epe, measuring 1168.141 (2886.543 acres), to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Alayeluwa Sikiru Kayode Adetona.

It would be recall that Justice Olaitan had on September 29, 2023, while delivering judgment in the suit marked EPD/131LMW/16, between OBA Alayeluwa Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the 5th Counter-claimant and Professor Sulaiman Owolabi Talabi and two others the defendants to the counter-claim, held that he Akesan area of Epe measuring 1168.141 {2886.543 acres} shown in composite plan No: ASC/O50P/LA/2020, belongs to the fifth counter claimant.

However in a swift reaction to the judgment, High Chief Mogaji in a statement states: “On Friday, the 29th September, 2023, the High Court of Lagos State coram Hon. Justice S. A Olaitan delivered a final judgment in Suit No: EPD/131LMW/16 between OBA Alayeluwa Sikiru Kayode Adetona the 5th Counter claimant and Professor Sulaiman Owolabi Talabi & 2 ORS the Defendants to the counter claim. 

“The Court granted the declaration of title to the res, the subject matter of the suit at Akesan area of Epe measuring 1168.141 {2886.543 acres} shown in composite plan No: ASC/O50P/LA/2020 in favor of the 5th counter claimant. 

“The defendants are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, particularly, on shifting burden of proof of Declaration of title to the land, on the defendants that who have no claim before the court. 

“Surprisingly Hon. Justice S.A Olaitan turned round in the same case and put what the court called “specific burden of proof of title to the land” on the defendants, who have no claim or reliefs before the court. 

“The further implication of the judgment is that Awujale owns radical title or ownership of the entire lands in ijebu land including but not limited Ikorodu, ljebu Igbo, Sagamu, ljebu Mushin and Ibeyu. The Survey tendered in the case covered the entire ijebuland up to Ibeju. 

“It will be interesting to know which Awujale established Ikorodu, ljebu-Igbo, Sagamu, ljebu-Mushin, Epe and Ibeju, and by what method{s} whether by conquest or first settlement because in the instant case the Awujale or any of his witnesses could not mention the name of Awujale who established Epe and how it devolved to the present Awujaie. 

“The purpose of this public notice is to appeal to the youths of the Iposu Family and the entire Eko-Epe community not to resort to any violence or disturbance of the public peace in Epe. 

“The appeal against the judgment will be filed on Tuesday the 2nd of October, 2023. The Appellate Court{s} should be allowed to determine the case. 

“The same things apply to the various companies, associations and individuals that purchased land from Iposu family. We implore them to be patient with the law.

“This public notice also serves as notice to members of the public and also to warn members of the public from purchasing land from the judgment creditors on the basis of this judgment of the High Court. Such purchaser{s} buy({s} the land at his or their peril. 

“Our title to the land has never been in doubt or questioned because there have been various judgments by the courts from High Courts to the Supreme Court 1927 to 1982 upholding the title of our family to the land including judgment against the predecessor in office of the present Oloja of Epe. 

“This judgment by Hon. Justice S. A. Olaitan is a big embarrassment to our family and we are very hopeful to get a better result at the Court of Appeal. 

“We appeal for peace in Lagos, Epe and appeal to the law enforcement agencies to maintain the peace so that the judgment, which is set for appeal should not be used to foment trouble in Epe. 

“Some members of Iposu family have to relocate their children from Epe for fear of possible attack or elimination by the overzealous agents of Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun, the Oloja of Epe. 

“They should allow the court of Appeal to determine the appeal against the judgment. We reiterate the need to fortify security around Eko Epe.”