Court fixes January 24 for commencement of Kwara demolition hearing

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By Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


Kwara State High Court in Ilorin, the state capital, yesterday fixed January 24, 2020, for commencement of hearing on the suit between state government and Asa Investment Limited (Ile Arugbo).

Agents of the state government, in early January, demolished some properties on Ilofa Road, Ilorin GRA, said to belong to the late Dr Olusola Saraki, for alleged illegal acquisition.

Dissatisfied with the action, scion of the late politician and former Senate President Bukola Saraki filed a motion ex parte through his counsel, AbdulAzeez Ibrahim, for stay of execution at the court.

The court restrained the defendants and anyone else acting on their behalf from further demolishing or further destroying the alleged property of the claimant.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the House of Assembly, the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, the Director-General of Kwara Bureau of Lands and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) are the defendants in the suit.

Ibrahim told the court that the case was for hearing on motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The lawyer averred that he had filed a motion ex parte for service on the defendants/respondents by substituted means.

He added that he had not been able to serve the fifth respondent (IGP), saying the “first to the fourth respondents had been served and they responded too. But the fifth responded has not been personally served”.

Ibrahim explained that the “motion on notice was dated and filed on January 13 and 14. The application for the motion ex parte is supported by a seven-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Ayo Ibrahim. We rely on all the averments therein. We also filed a written address in support of the affidavit. I pray the court to grant the order so that we can make progress”.

Pending the time the court processes would have been served the fifth respondent, Ibrahim said: “We are applying orally for the court to order all the parties to maintain status quo in the interest of peace and justice as well as an extension of tenure of the interlocutory injunction.”

Responding, Justice Commissioner Salman Jawondo said with respect to the motion on substituted service, “we can only be seen but not heard”.

He added: “We are opposed to the application of tenure extension of the interlocutory injunction or whatever name it is called. The application is also an invitation to chaos as the case attracted much heat and attention, even beyond its content.”

Ruling on the motion ex parte for substituted service to the fifth respondent, Justice A. A. Adebara granted the application.

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“In this application, attempts at personal service to the fifth respondent hit the rock. I am satisfied that the service be made by pasting court processes on the notice board in the premises of the Kwara State Police Command,” he said.

Declining to make express statement on the application for tenure elongation of the interlocutory injunction, Justice Adebara urged the parties to remain calm and seek a way of settling the matter out of court.

He said: “The first paramount thing for this court is to encourage all parties to settle the case amicably out of court; nothing is impossible. Settlement out of court is never too late to explore. I want the two sides to believe that by the special grace of God, peace will prevail. I am appealing to the two sides that there should be a mutual understanding.”

He adjourned the matter till January 24 for hearing.