STL Trustees Explains Enforcement of Court Judgment on Awoyaya Land
STL Trustees has explained that the July 24 and 25, 2018 execution of the judgment on the property measuring 200.184 hectares situated at Awoyaya Area, along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, was in compliance with the Judgments of the Courts obtained in Suit Nos. LD/1911/04 and LD/420LMW/2015.
STL through its solicitors, the Law firm of Messrs. Udah, Bala, James & Partner, had one month prior to the commencement of the execution of the court order on the property given notices to the trespassers to vacate the property whilst also giving an opportunity to those who had unfortunately purchased from some fraudulent indigenes to enter into negotiations with its solicitors for ratification and regularization of their purchase. This notice period regrettably elapsed without STL or its solicitors receiving any offers for regularization from any of the illegal occupants further to which it commenced execution on the said property.
Giving historical insight to the property, STL noted that, “By virtue of a Certificate of Occupancy issued by Lagos State Government on 30th December 2002, the state vested the ownership of the property in EIB Trustees Limited (Now STL Trustees).”
Subsequent to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy to EIB Trustees, some representatives of the indigenes of the villages sued EIB challenging the validity of the certificate over the affected land. A Lagos High Court consequently on 11th December 2006, by virtue of the Terms of Settlement between EIB and the Claimants, delivered a Consent Judgment that confirmed ownership of the property by EIB, following from a mutually agreed and accepted lump sum payment to the claimants in the said suit.
The claimants, later in another suit comprising ten villages collectively known as Abule-Parapo in Awoyaya, Ibeju Lekki Area of Lagos (through their representatives, Alhaji Mutiu Musa & others) brought an action at the High Court of Lagos State against EIB Trustees Ltd in Suit No. LD/420LMW/2015 seeking for recovery of the Land with all the improvements and structures thereon.
On 3rd July 2015 by the agreement of the parties, Terms of Settlement was duly executed and filed in the court and same was subsequently adopted as a consent judgment by Hon. Justice Obadina of the Lagos State High Court which judgment reaffirmed the ownership of the property to STL Trustees
Contrary to some erroneous reports that STL Trustees embarked on unauthorized demolition exercise, the exercise was an enforcement of a valid Court Judgment to recover all encroached portions of the land belonging to the Organization.