- Sanni v. Ademiluyi
- ₦ 200
Sanni v. Ademiluyi
SUPREME COURT OF
MICHAEL E. OGUNDARE, JSC ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )
UTHMAN MOHAMMED, JSC
SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC
ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC
NIKI TOBI, JSC
17TH JANUARY, 2003
APPEAL - Preliminary objection -
When raised - Need to be properly headed
COURT - Court of Appeal -Incompetence of to ascribe credibility to
witnesses it did not see or hear testify
- Duty of to find on issues pleaded and raised before it
COURT - High Court - Jurisdiction of to deal with land in urban and nonurban areas - Adisa vs.Oyinwola (2000)
FWLR (Pt. 8) 1349, 1389 applied
COURT - Trial court - Duty of to ascribe credibility to witnesses it
sees or hears testify
EVIDENCE - Witnesses - Credibility of
- Duty of trial court to ascribe credibility to witnesses it sees or
AND ORDERS - Decisions of court - When overruled - Effect
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Decisions of court - When overruled Submissions
of counsel based on overruled decisions - When will avail party so making
LAND LAW - Land law in urban and non-urban areas - Jurisdiction of High
Court to deal with - Adisa vs.Oyinwola (2000) FWLR (Pt. 8)
, 1389 applied
LAW - Stool land and communal land - Difference between
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
- Preliminary objection - When raised -
to be properly headed
AND PHRASES - â€˜Communal landâ€™ - Meaning of
AND PHRASES - â€˜Stool landâ€™ - Meaning of
Whether the High Court has jurisdiction to entertain a
suit on a land situate in Idi-Ogun, a village (twenty-two miles from Ife) when
there is a customary court in the area.
Whether the plaintiff was able to prove by credible
evidence the averment that all land by Ife custom belong to the crown ( King)
and that ownership by settlement is alien to Ife custom and in essence that the
land was a grant made to his family by the Ooni of Ife.
Whether the plaintiff was ever in possession of the
land in dispute as against the defendant.
(plaintiff in the court of trial) claimed against the appellant (defendant in
the court of trial) a declaration that he is â€œentitled to occupation or
possession of the farmland situate at
Idi-Ogun village, Ife in accordance with native law and custom of Ife
having been in lawful occupation or possession of the said land long before the
Land Use Act.â€ The plaintiff claimed injunction order â€œfrom further entry or
trespass on the said farmland.â€ The plaintiff formulated his case on the
following facts: The plaintiff is the son of one Okero Ademuluyi who died some
years ago leaving behind a piece of land now in dispute. Plaintiff is
representing the family of the said Okero Ademiluyi in these proceedings. The
land in dispute is situate at Idi-Ogun village in Ife District.
was the son of Oba Ajagun Ademiluyi the Ooni of Ife who reigned from 1910-1930.
According to the plaintiff, by the customary law of Ife, all land in the
Kingdom belongs to the Ooni of Ife who has dominion over it. Okero Ademiluyi
was a hunter and a farmer. His father Ooni Ademiluyi granted the land in
dispute to him about 70 years before the institution of this action in 1986.
Following the grant of the land to him Okero Ademiluyi took possession and did
hunting and farming on the land until his death on or about 1981. He planted
cocoa, kola, palm trees etc. on the land and had several servants working for
him. The plaintiff was placed on the land by Okero his father as an overseer.
Okero also granted part of the land to other people to do farming. One Jimoh
Ajani was one of the servants who worked on the land.
The case for the
defendant was quite different. It is his own case that every family in Ile-Ife
has its farmland and that the farmland in dispute belongs to the family of
Sanni Fogbonja. Sanni Fogbonja was the father of the defendant. Warobi, the
great grand father of the defendant and a hunter and farmer in his day, was the
first to settle on the said farmland about 100 years before the filing of this
suit. Warobi died and was succeeded on the land by Fogbonja his son who
continued to practise hunting and farming on the land as Warobi did in his day.
After the death of Fogbonja his son Sanni succeeded him on the land. This Sanni was the father of
the defendant and he farmed and did hunting on the land. Both the defendant and
his father farmed on the land and did hunting. Sanni died in December 1982 and
it was after his death that the plaintiff started harassing the defendant and his
late fatherâ€™s tenants on the land. According to the defendant the plaintiffâ€™s
family land is at Elegberun village in Ife.
The parties filed their pleading and the
matter went to trial. The trial court ground plaintiffâ€™s claim not proved and
dismissed same with costs. Being dissatisfied with the decision, the plaintiff
appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and
entered judgment in favour of the plaintiff as per his claim. The Court of
Appeal further declared the plaintiff as â€œentitled to occupation or possession
of the farmlandâ€ in dispute. The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court.