By Hammed Shittu in Ilori
In accordance with the advice of a Kwara State High Court on the Ile Arugbo demolition, the state government has agreed for an out-of-court-settlement on the disputed land between it and the family of the late Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
The state High Court, sitting in Ilorin, had on January 15,2020 advised parties in the suit to in the interest of peace, explore an out of court settlement over the disputed land on which Saraki’s Ile Arugbo was built.
The state government’s action is, however, in response to an earlier letter from the Saraki’s lawyers seeking an amicable out-court-settlement of the dispute.
Agents of the state government had on January 2nd this year demolished some property at Ile Arugbo over alleged irregularities in the allocation of the land housing the structures.
This has led to litigation between Asa Investments Limited, (a company owned by the late Saraki) and the state government.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, Counsel to Asa Investments Limited, AbdulAzeez Ibrahim informed the court that his clients had received a letter from the Kwara State Ministry of Justice inviting them to a meeting slated for January 27th, 2020.
Ibrahim added : “On January 15th, your Lordship conscientiously advised parties to explore settlement of the case out of court in the interest of peace in this state of harmony. Consequent upon that we as counsel to the claimant had to persuade our client and after thorough discussions our client instructed us to write a letter to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state on our readiness to meet with him. And we served him the letter on the 20th January, 2020.
“Consequently, this morning in this court, we were served with a letter dated January 23rd, 2020 from the Kwara State Ministry of Justice. In the letter we are invited for a meeting slated for 27th January, 2020. We want to explore the opportunity this court has afforded. We therefore, submit that an adjournment is imminent and inevitable.”
Counsel to the state government, who is also the Director Civil Litigation, Ministry of Justice, A.M Bello confirmed the receipt of a letter from the claimant’s counsel seeking for amicable resolution of the case out of court.
“In tandem with the tenet of the said letter, we have invited the claimant for a meeting on Monday next week for out-of-court settlement of the case.” Bello added.
He aligned with the claimant’s counsel application for adjournment.
Counsel to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) who is the 5th respondent in the suit, Aderemi Ajibola said “we shall not be opposing to the adjournment sought by the claimant’s counsel.”
In his ruling, Justice Abiodun Adebara urged the parties to resolve the case amicably before the next adjourned date.
“This court is particularly impressed by the parties for the steps taken to settle out of court; they are therefore enjoined to engage in meaningful discussions that will lead to the resolution of the case out of court. I wish the parties well in their deliberation.
“With the concurrence of the learned counsel, this case is adjourned to March 2nd for the report of out-of-court settlement.”