Abraham Kembi Family Reclaims Stolen Adiyanland

Posted on August 5, 2021

The family of Abraham Kembi of Kembi Village, Adiyan in Ogun State has taken possession and reclaimed their vast land encroached by some land speculators many years back. 

The taken possession of over 45 acres of land by the family, was by virtue of judgments of an Ogun State High Court and Court of Appeal, secured against Oyekan Family of Olofin Isheri Chieftaincy family, who dragged the Kembi Family to court and lost in 2013 and 2020 respectively.

In the suit filed in 2006 by the judgement debtor with number HCT/231/06, the High Court of Ogun State holden at Ota presided over by Honourable Justice A. A. Babawale, granted ownership of the land to the family of Abraham Kembi. 

Justice Babawale who gave judgment in favour of the defendants (Gabriel Olaosebikan and Emmanuel Kembi, who were sued as representatives of Kembi family, declared that there are preponderance evidences pointing to the fact that the Kembi family, are the rightful owners of the disputed land known as Kembi Village in Adiyan, Ogun State. 

Dissatisfied with the Justice Babawale’s judgment, the Claimants approached the Ibadan Division of Appeal Court, which subsequently dismissed the appeal “due to lack of diligent prosecution and failure to file the Appellant’s brief.

The appellate court Justices who include: Honourable Justice Jimi Olukayode Bada, Haruna S. Tsammmani and Folasade Ayodeji Ojo, had upheld the judgment of the High Court and dismissed the appeal by the appellants. 

Taking possession of the vast land now known and described as Havila Estate, the Abraham Kembi family represented by their counsel, Adejare Kembi, the bailiffs of the court and the Police, were in the village to take physical possession as prescribed by law, making the Kembis proper and undisputed owner of the land. 

The possession which was taken unchallenged on August 3, 2021, brought to an end the crisis on the ownership of the land since 2006.

Though major part of the land are already occupied by illegal occupiers, the judgment creditor, (Kembi family) noted they are not averse to settlement in whatever form. 

The Kembi family had claimed ownership of the land, claiming to be customary tenants and that their forbearer known as Abraham Kembi settled upon the land in dispute after the Egba/Awori war.

They submitted that after the return of the original settlers, the Aworis, their forbearer purchased the land from Dada Edu, the first Awori to lay claim to the land in 1920.

In the judgment which gave ownership to the Abraham Kembi family, the trial judge noted that the Claimants, “did not show any positive acts of possession or ownership which they exercised in respect of the land in dispute. They rely on ownership of adjoining land. 

“The fact that the claimants’ progenitor or some other Awori man settled on the land in dispute is not contested by the defence, their claim is in the conquest of the said land by their progenitor and eventual purchase of same. This purchase was evidence in writing and was in no way faulted by the claimants throughout the proceedings”, the court held. 

The court further held that “the defendants showed evidence of purchase not faulted by the Claimants and other acts of possession; in contrast the claimants were unable to show me any other fact apart from their claim of entitlement to the land in dispute by inheritance from their forebear. 

“In conclusion I resolve the first issue formulated by the defendants in favor of the defendants. I hold that on the balance of probability it is the defendants counter claim that should succeed while the claimants’ case should fail and is liable to be dismissed.

 “I so hold and the counter-claim succeeds and it is hereby ordered as follows: “It hereby declared that the defendants are the persons entitled to the statutory Right of Occupancy over and in respect of that piece of land situate, lying and being at Kembi Village, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State which land is described and shown in the approved layout plan of Kembi Village in dated 28th September 2003 and tendered as Exhibit DE3 in this case”.

The court also awarded the cost of N100,000 as general damages in favor of the defendants for act of trespass committed by the claimants, while also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the claimants and their agents from unlawfully encroaching the said land.

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