Court stops Kwara govt from taking over 'Ile Arugbo'
LA high court sitting in Ilorin has restrained the Kwara state government from taking over Ile Arugbo, described as the political home of Olusola Saraki, father of former Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Adenike Akinpelu, the presiding judge, gave the interim order on Tuesday while delivering a ruling in an ex parte application filed by Asa Investment Limited, a private firm reportedly owned by the ex-senate president's late father; the Saraki family, and one other person.
Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Kwara governor; Kwara state house of assembly; attorney-general of Kwara state; director-general, Kwara state bureau of lands, and the inspector-general of police were joined as defendants in the suit.
The plaintiffs had prayed the court for an interim injunction “restraining the defendants/respondents either by themselves, their officers/employees, servants, contractor/construction company, agents, privies or their successors in title or any other person known or unknown claiming in trust or in contractual reference/services for the defendants/respondents from taking over possession or occupation and entering the plot of lands in dispute in this suit with intention/desire to construct, build, erect or commence any type of building, office, structure on the plots nos 1, 3 and 5 with TPS/MISC.129A Survey plan no KWSH927 and land: G1071 and land G1071 situate, lying and being at Ilofa Road, GRA Ilorin, Kwara state, beside the civil service clinic, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction".
They also sought "an order of interim injunction mandating the defendants/respondents to maintain status quo antebellum by not doing anything, including construction on plots Nos 1, 2 and 5 with TPS/MISC.129A, Survey Plan No KWSH927 and land; G1071 situate, lying and being at Ilofa Road, GRA Ilorin, Kwara state beside Civil Service Clinic, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice".
The judge granted the reliefs sought and fixed April 19 for hearing.
"Ile Arugbo', said to be the political home of the former senate president’s father, was demolished by the state government in January 2020 following the revocation of the land.
The Kwara governor had said the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic, but was illegally allocated to Asa Investment Limited.
Saraki had tackled the Kwara government in court, but lost when the case was struck out by Abiodun Adewara, the judge, for "lack of diligent prosecution".
Thereafter, the state government completely demolished the remainder of the structure on February 4.