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Regd. Trustees, Ansar-Ud-Deen Soceity v. Mogaji

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF ANSAR-UD-DEEN SOCIETY OF NIGERIA

V

CHIEF YESUFU OYEDOKE - MOGAJI

ALHAJI AMUSA OLANIYAN

LASISI OLANIYAN

KADIRI OLANIYAN

OLAWUMI OLANIYAN

( For themselves and on behalf of Daodu Folarin

Olaniyan Family of Ede)

RASHIDI ADEGBOYEGA

ALHAJI LAMIDI AROKO

WULEMOTU TIJANI

WAHABI TIJANI

SULE AREMU

OSENI ADEKOLU (Bricklayer)

BAMIDELE (Bricklayer)

COURT OF APPEAL

( IBADAN )

SUNDAY A. AKINTAN JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

FRANCIS FEDODE TABAI JCA

OLUFUNLOLA OYELOLA ADEKEYE JCA

CA/I/94/95

TUESDAY, 17TH DECEMBER, 2002

CUSTOMARY LAW - Custom - Party relying thereon - Duty on to plead and prove

Issues:

1.              Whether exhibit A, the deed of conveyance given by the Timi of Ede as grantor to the plaintiffs/appellants conveyed a good title to the plaintiffs.

2.              Whether the root of title of the grantor and the customary

tenure law were not pleaded and proved as required by law to convey title to the land in dispute on the plaintiffs.

3.              Whether the issue of long and undisturbed possession of the plaintiffs/appellants to the land in dispute was adequately considered by the trial court.

4.              Whether the plaintiffs/appellants have adduced sufficient evidence in proof of the reliefs claimed before the trial court.

Facts:

The dispute that led to the institution of this action arose over a parcel of land in Obada Area of Ede. The appellants herein claimed that late Timi of Ede, Oba Adetoyese Laoye, granted the land to them sometime in 1970. The grant was later confirmed in 1974 when a conveyance was executed in favour of the appellants by the late Oba. That the said Oba Laoye granted the land to the appellants by virtue of his right as the Timi of Ede over all lands within three miles of Ede. The appellants took possession of the land immediately after the grant and they planted thereon some food crops and other crops. They also fenced the land with wire fence and erected signboards at the four corners of the land. They equally put up a foundation for a school sometime in 1977.

However, sometime about 1988, the members of Daodu Olaniyan family, (the 1st to 5th respondents’ family) started to claim ownership of the land. They pulled down the wire fences and removed all the appellants’ signboards installed on the land. They then started to sell portions of the land to members of the public, among whom  are the 6th to 12th respondents. The appellants reported the matter to the Oba who in turn warned the respondents to desist from disturbing the appellants on the land. The respondents failed to heed the Oba’s warning. The appellants therefore instituted an action, claiming for a declaration of title to the land, damages for trespass and injunction restraining the respondents.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court dismissed appellants’ claim in its entirety.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.