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  • Akere v. Governor, Oyo State
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  • 2002-09-30
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Akere v. Governor, Oyo State

1.      ALHAJI (CHIEF) S. D. AKERE

2.      ALHAJI KARIMU OLAPADE AKERE

3.      MRS.  FUNKE LAOSUN

4.      MR. DEJO GBENRO

5.      ALHAJI M. O. OLAGUNJU

6.      MR. RAIMI ALAMU

7.      MR. OLADEJO AJANI

8.      ALHAJI RAJI OLASUPO

9.      MR. KARIMU AGBERI AGUNLOFI

10.  MR. KARIMU BAOLADALE

11.  ALHAJI RAMONI AMOHAN OYATERU

12.  TIJANI ABIOSE

13.  MR. MUDASIRU ALAO

14.  CHIEF A. A. AKINYEMI

( For themselves and on behalf of Association of

Landowners whose land was acquired along Araromi Akufo in 1963)

V

1.      THE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE

2.      THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF OYO STATE

3.      COMMISSIONER FOR LANDS, HOUSING AND PHYSICAL PLANNING

4.      COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE AND

NATURAL RESOURCES

COURT OF APPEAL

( IBADAN DIVISION )

SUNDAY AKINOLA AKINTAN, JCA ( Presided and Read the Judgment )

MORONKEJI OMOTAYO ONALAJA, JCA

FRANCIS FEDODE TABAI, JCA

CA/I//162/96

THURSDAY, 11TH APRIL, 2002

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Land tribunal - Basis and scope of jurisdiction of - Whether jurisdiction extends to all allegations relating to land

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Land tribunal - Limitation of jurisdiction of - Need to exercise within the confinement of the jurisdiction so conferred

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION -  Matters relating to compensation payable in respect of compulsorily acquired lands - Ouster of jurisdiction of High Court to adjudicate thereon - Section 18(1) of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976  considered

COURT - Land tribunal - Jurisdiction of - Basis and scope of - Whether jurisdiction of extends to all allegations relating to land

COURT - Land tribunal - Limitation of jurisdiction of - Need to exercise within the confinement of the jurisdiction so conferred

COURT - Matters relating to compensation payable in respect of compulsorily acquired lands - Ouster of jurisdiction of High Court to adjudicate thereon - Section 18(1) of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 considered

FAIR HEARING - Issue of jurisdiction - When raised - Need to hear the other party on the issue before the court takes decision on the matter

JURISDICTION - Fundamental nature of - Whether jurisdiction can be acquired by acquiescence or submission

JURISDICTION - Importance to valid adjudication - Lack of jurisdiction on a trial - Effect

JURISDICTION - Issue of - How and when can be raised

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Need to be raised in good faith

JURISDICTION - Issue of - When raised - Need to hear the other party on the issue before the court takes decision on the matter

JURISDICTION - Land tribunal - Limitation of jurisdiction of - Need to exercise within the confinement of the jurisdiction so conferred

JURISDICTION - Matters relating to compensation payable in respect of compulsorily acquired lands - Ouster of jurisdiction of High Court to adjudicate thereon - Section 18(1) of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 considered

Issues:

1.            Whether the learned trial Judge was right in his consideration and application of sections 4, 5, 6 and 8 and Schedule of the Public Lands Acquisition Act and Legal Notice No. OYSLN No. 13 of 1978 to this case.

2.            Whether where an issue had been settled by the interlocutory decision of the lower court, it was open to the learned trial Judge to reverse such decision in his final judgment.

3.            Whether on the evidence before the lower court the decision of the lower court was right.

4.            Whether by virtue of the provisions of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree No. 33  of 1976 , the trial court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim of the plaintiffs.

Facts:

The appellants were owners of the land situate along Araromi-Akufo Road, Ibadan, compulsorily acquired in 1963 by the Old Western Region Government for the purpose of establishing a farm settlement.  The acquisition notice was published in the Western Region Gazette No. 9 Volume 12 of 7th February, 1963.  Shortly after the publication in the Gazette, the appellants filed their claims for compensation.  About three years after the acquisition, the Government paid compensation due in respect of crops found on the land.  But compensation due in respect of buildings and land were left unpaid.  The Government promised to pay them later. The promise was, however, not honoured until the Old Western Region was broken into States and the present Oyo State Government inherited the liability to pay the outstanding compensation due on the acquisition. However, between 1984 and 1987, compensations in respect of buildings were paid, thereby leaving unpaid compensation due in respect of the land. This was the situation when the appellants as plaintiffs, instituted the present action at the High Court of Oyo State Ibadan by originating summons on 25 /11/92 claiming the sum of N21,222,348.25 representing principal and interest for delayed payment as compensation for their land compulsorily acquired in 1963 along Araromi-Akufo road, Ibadan.  After conclusion of trial, the learned trial Judge in his reserved judgment delivered on 20/3/96 held that the appellants are only entitled to the payment of the sum of N1,233,960 as compensation in respect of their land acquired by the respondents in 1963 and that the said amount shall not attract any interest whatsoever.  The appellants were dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court and they appealed against it to the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal considered sections 3 and 18(1) of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 which provides respectively as follows:-

Section 3:

“Any claim in respect of compensation payable by virtue of the Public Lands Acquisition Act or the State Lands Act or any other enactment or law shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of this Decree, and any dispute arising from such claim shall be referrable by any party to the dispute for adjudication by a lands tribunal established under section

12  below.” Section 18(1):

“18 (1) As from the commencement of this Decree and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law, the High Court of a State or any other court having original jurisdiction in land matters shall not have jurisdiction to hear or determine:-

(a)          any question relating to or connected with the ownership, whether beneficial or otherwise, of any land to be compulsorily acquired by the Government for the public purposes of the Federation or of a State; and

(b)         any question relating to or concerning any such land including the amount of compensation payable in respect of such acquisition and the persons entitled to such compensation,

and no action whatsoever shall be brought in any such court in respect of any such question, and if such action is pending in any such court or on appeal in any other court the action shall abate...”