ACTION, APPEAL, COURT, CUSTOMARY LAW, JUDGMENT AND ORDER, JUDICIAL PRECEDENT, LAND LAW, LEASE, LIMITATION LAW, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, WORDS AND PHRASES
In 1970, a dispute within the Oluwa Chieftaincy Family of Lagos and Apapa, over the number of branches that constitute the Family, led to the institution of Suit No. LD/828/70 at the Lagos State High Court. While that Suit was pending, the Family, represented by the then Oluwa and Head of Oluwa Chieftaincy Family, and six principal members of the Family, leased a portion of its landed property at Industrial Road, off Kirikiri Road, Apapa, to the Appellant, who took possession.
The said Lease dated 31/12/1975, was registered in the Register of Deeds kept at the Land Registry, Ikeja, Lagos, as No. 53 at page 53 in Volume 1533.
On 15/5/1987, Thomas, J., delivered his Judgment in Suit No. LD/828/70, wherein he concluded that “there are 5 Branches of the Oluwa Chieftaincy Family, namely, (1) Asalu (2) Odofin (3) Idewu (4) Faro and (5) Amore”.
The Defendants, who claimed that there were three branches of the Family, and not five, appealed to the Court of Appeal, but the Appeal was dismissed for lack of diligent prosecution.
By an Application dated 30/9/1989, they attempted to restore the Appeal, but the Court of Appeal refused the Application in its Ruling delivered on 22/3/1990, and they appealed to the Supreme Court with a Notice of Appeal dated 31/5/1990. But the Appeal was withdrawn, and it was accordingly dismissed on 26/9/1992.
On 25/11/2004, the Lagos State Government approved the appointment of the first Appellant herein, who is from the Odofin Branch of the said Oluwa Family, as the new Oluwa of Lagos and Apapa, and he then constituted and inaugurated a fresh Executive of the Family with members drawn from all the five Branches.
The Respondents requested a meeting with the Appellant to discuss the Lease, and when it refused to meet with them, they filed the action that led to this Appeal.
Preliminary Objection Overruled; Appeal Allowed; Cross Appeal Struck Out.
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