No fewer than 40 houses were yesterday sealed up by security operatives at Suwonka village, Olorunda Road, Olodo of Ibadan, on the orders of a high court in the state capital.
Justice Solomon Adegboyega Akinteye recently delivered a judgement in which he declared that the about 10 acres of land on which the owners of the houses constructed them belonged to Alhaji Jelili Tunde Amusa (the claimant) not Chief Rasheed Alagbe (aka Olorioko) who sold the land to them.
As early as 8am, about 20 stern-looking mobile police men in came to the area along with the court bailiffs to seal up over 40 houses in the area.
While delivering the judgement recently, Justice Akinteye ruled that Alhaji Amusa was the rightful owner of the parcel of land situate at Suwonka village ,Olorunda road, Olodo, Ibadan covered by the property survey No. KESH/Y/9255 drawn by Alhaji Y.O. Keshinro on December 27, 1989.
Justice Akinteye also awarded the sum of N5,000 in favour of the claimant(Alhaji Jelili Tunde Amusa) against the defendant, Chief Rasheed Alagbe, as damages for trespass committed by the defendant on the said land.
In a, 11 page typesetted judgement, Justice Akinteye ruled that “I have read the pleadings of the claimants, listened to the evidence of the witnesses and read the written address of his counsel, Barrister Folake Ajayi, who urged me to grant the claims. As pointed out earlier, the defendant filed a statement of defence but failed to comply with the new court rules as regards frontloading of processes and also failed to defend the suit. The statement of defence filed by him is deemed abandoned as pleadings do not take the place of oral evidence.”
Justice Akinteye, who supported the judgement by citing the case of Agha vs I.G.P(1997) 10 Nigeria Weekly Law Report (pt 524) pg. 317 at 321, where it was held that “Where evidence of a witness has not been challenged, contradicted or shaken under cross-examination and such evidence is in line with the facts so pleaded, the evidence must be accepted as the correct version of what was expected to be proved . In such circumstances, it is always open to the court seized of the proceedings to act on the unchallenged evidence.”
On the claim of the sum of N5,000 as damages for trespass, the judge held: “I believe from the evidence on record, it was stated that the defendant entered the land of the claimant with hoodlums and started destroying it and also sold some parcel of land to unsuspecting members of the public including one Mr. Adewoye (Daddy Tobi). From this evidence, it could be seen that trespass has been proved. The claimant for N5,000 as damages therefore represents claim in general damages.”

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