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Supreme Court dis­misses FG’s suit chal­leng­ing La­gos land pol­icy

Weekly Trust - - News - Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

The Supreme in Abuja has dis­missed a suit filed by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment chal­leng­ing the Land Reg­u­lar­i­sa­tion Pol­icy of the La­gos State Gov­ern­ment. The apex court in a rul­ing, Fri­day, up­held the pre­lim­i­nary ob­jec­tion filed by the State Gov­ern­ment to con­test the le­gal­ity of the suit.

La­gos State Gov­ern­ment had spec­i­fied the process of rat­i­fy­ing the ti­tle of hold­ers of Cer­tifi­cates of Oc­cu­pancy said to have been ob­tained from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment. But the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion (AGF) rep­re­sented by Mr. Olisa Ag­bakoba (SAN), had in a suit with ref­er­ence num­ber SC/50/ 2011, in­voked the orig­i­nal ju­ris­dic­tion of the Supreme Court to chal­lenge pro­vi­sions of the pol­icy.

While ar­gu­ing the case, Ag­bakoba had cited par­tic­u­lar prop­er­ties where ti­tle hold­ers were re­quired by La­gos State to pay cer­tain amount as “Rat­i­fi­ca­tion” of their ti­tle be­fore any other trans­ac­tions can be per­mit­ted on such land.

The of­fice of the State’s At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Com­mis­sioner for Jus­tice, also ar­gued that the AGF lacked the lo­cus to file the ac­tion on be­half of the Fed­er­a­tion against the State Gov­ern­ment on ac­count of the fact that the mat­ter in dis­pute was be­tween Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and the La­gos State Gov­ern­ment.

Af­ter con­sid­er­ing ar­gu­ments for and against the suit, the Supreme Court in its rul­ing de­liv­ered by Jus­tice Clara Ogun­biyi held that al­though it did not agree that it could not en­ter­tain the mat­ter in its orig­i­nal ju­ris­dic­tion, the FG had di­vested it­self of the ti­tles to prop­er­ties which were sub­ject of the suit and there­fore had no lo­cus to bring the ac­tion.

The pre­lim­i­nary ob­jec­tion of the State Gov­ern­ment was there­fore up­held and the suit dis­missed. By the de­ci­sion, the Supreme Court has now laid the dis­pute to fi­nal rest.

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