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Meadows family takes possession of demolished Monkey Village in Opebi, demands public apology from Ubani or risk litigation

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Following the controversy trailing the demolished structures and shanties on a landed property located at Folorunsho Kuku Street in Opebi area of Lagos State, known as ‘Monkey Village’, the G.W. O Meadows Family, on Monday said it has taken full possession of the property.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Mr. Francis Monye, the Solicitor to Prosperous Ariyori Golden Ventures, the land developer that was given the concession by G.W.O Meadows Family to develop and manage the land, said they are acting based on several ruling of the courts which declared Meadows Family as the rightful owner of the property.

The legal practitioner said the possession of the land was based on the ruling of the Lagos High Court in Suit No: LD/513/80 and Court of Appeal in Suit No: CA/1/16A/92, as well as the ruling of the Supreme Court in SC146/1995, which he said were all in favour of the G.W.O Meadows family.

“It is not good to have illegal shanties within a city like Lagos. The place has become a haven for all sorts of crimes; people who are illegal immigrants living there. It is more like a training front for robbers; a place where they stashed proceeds of crimes. They come here to keep either stolen vehicles or stolen materials and this place also became a kind of terror to the environment. Most of the people in the shanties are people without any means of reasonable means of livelihood,” he said.

Also speaking, the solicitor to G.W.O. Meadows family, Mr. Yakubu Arowosola Eleto, warned land grabbers and illegal occupants to vacate the property and also called on the former Second Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Monday Ubani, to desist from laying claims to the property.

The legal practitioner who took a swipe at Ubani for accusing the land developer, Engr. Abiodun Ariori of using officials of the Lagos State Government to illegally grab the said land from his client, who he said has Certificate of Occupancy and other documents validating his ownership of the land, gave the former NBA vice president an additional three days to tender public apology after the completion of the earlier seven days ultimatum.

He said failure to do so; he will take a legal action by filing a defamation suit against Ubani for defaming the land developer.

“I have been living in this place for over 30 years. When I came here, it was a thick forest; I cleared it, developed it and built some ‘mansions’ at the place. I didn’t take any approval from government or the owner of the structure because it was a bush. I also have a church here. We have a lot of people living here and we don’t have anywhere to go after the demolition,” a man who identified himself as Pastor Osagie said.

Ubani had stated that the property of one of his clients located at Opebi area of Lagos, allegedly invaded by a property developer, Abiodun Ariori, and some Lagos State Government Task Force officials, is not part of disputed Monkey Village.

“Our client’s land is not Monkey Village land but ours is situate, lying and being at No 1 Folorunsho Kuku Street, Opebi Village. It is fenced with a gate and tenants therein covered by a Certificate of Occupancy obtained since 1989, ” he said in a statement.

“The Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the Lagos State Government after a publication in a national newspaper without any objection from any person.

“The beneficiary of the property has been in an unhindered occupation and effective possession for over 20 years with evidence of paying Land Use Charge to the State Government up to date.

“Our client does not have any relationship with the said Kuku as they did not buy any property from him and so could not be associated with an unsubstantiated allegation connecting to his land which the Meadow Family allegedly misappropriated as part of their alleged Supreme Court judgement of 1987.
“If they executed the said judgement in 1987 as they alleged, how come the State Government gave a certificate of occupancy over the same property in 1989?

“The Warrant of Possession which the family showed to the Police and which I have a copy showed the correct address where they executed the writ of possession on, and the address is clearly at variance with Folorunsho Kuku Street that is at Opebi, where our client’s land is situated.”