A High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has adjourned till May 10, pre-trial in a matter of wrongful acquisition and allocation of land between the Adugotu family of Opolo, Yenagoa, and the late Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
The family urged the court to declare as null and void the acquisition of the land measuring 7.5 hectares valued at over N1billion and its allocation to Pesal Nigeria Limited by the state government.
They averred that the state government only paid compensation for the crops and refused to pay any money for the land on the premise that it was being acquired for public interest.
According to the family, the state government had told them that the land was for the building of a five-star hotel, but the late Alamieyeseigha who was governor at that time allocated it to his personal company, Pesal Nigeria Limited.
The plaintiffs, Messrs Obidiah Yakie, Omoya Napoleon Lagumo and Diankume Sunday Lagumo for the Adugotu family of Fambule Compound also sued Pesal Nigeria Limited, the governor of Bayelsa State, Bayelsa State Ministry of Land and Survey, Yenagoa Capital City Development Authority and the state attorney-general.
When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, April 13, the trial judge, Justice Doris Adokeme, asked Counsel to the claimants, Barr. Olu Ojujoh, to call Barr. Fitzgerald Olorogun, Counsel to the first and second defendants (DSP Alamieyeseigha and Pesal Nigeria Limited) “to know if he is serious in going about the matter” as he was absent in court.
Barrister Gideon Yinfaowei, Counsel to the third to sixth defendants (governor of Bayelsa State, Bayelsa State Ministry of Lands and Survey, Yenagoa Capital City Development Authority and Attorney-General of Bayelsa State) was present in court.
Justice Adokeme therefore adjourned the case till May 10 for pre-trial.
Speaking to journalists, counsel to the plaintiffs assured that he will act on the advice of the judge and called the counsel to the first and second defendants to know if he is still interested in the case.
However, the family disclosed that there are moves by some stakeholders for an out-of-court settlement, but their offer was far below the family’s evaluation of the property.


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