The Court of Appeal in Lagos has delivered judgement on a prime landed property situated at Ikoyi Foreshore, Lagos, declaring that a party in the land dispute, Sunnyvale Nig. Ltd a trespasser.
The court declared that land on Plot 19, Block 6, Ikoyi Foreshore belonged to the appellant, County & City Bricks Development Company Ltd.
The appeal was filed by County & City Bricks Development Company Ltd and Layi Ajayi Bembe.
The appellate court in the lead judgment by Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu, restrained the company and its agents “from entering, crossing, continuing to enter or cross” the land belonging to County & City Bricks.
The court held: “The certificate of occupancy purportedly issued to the third respondent (Sunnyvale) by the Federal Government is hereby nullified.
“The sum of N1million is awarded in favour of the appellants as general damages for trespass against the third respondent.”
Justice Ogakwu held that where another person has a better title to a land, the court will revoke the certificate of occupancy the other.
“The necessary implication of the setting aside of the third respondent’s certificate of occupancy is that it is a trespasser on the disputed land and it is not entitled to enter onto the said land.
“The appellants having established their legal rights over the disputed land are entitled to have their interest protected by the grant of an injunction.
“In a summation, from the totality of the forgoing, this appeal is immensely meritorious and it accordingly succeeds.
“The judgment of the lower court is hereby set aside. Judgment is entered in favour of the appellants on their counterclaim,” Justice Ogakwu held.
The Lagos High Court had earlier held that the land belonged to Sunnyvale Nigeria.
But County & City Bricks appealed against the judgment and filed an application for stay of execution.
While the litigation was ongoing on the disputed land, Sunnyvale continued building on it.
Following the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on March 6, County & City Bricks petitioned the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Lagos, over developments on the land.
The Police chief, acting on the appellate court judgment, directed mobile policemen at the property at Sunnyvale’s instance to vacate the land.