Counsel for the Kwara state government and Asa Investment Ltd on Monday told Ilorin State High Court why the out-of-court settlements in disputed Ile-Arugbo land collapsed.
Asa Investment Ltd filed a lawsuit challenging the state government’s revocation of the lands belonging to the late Kwara policy chief, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
In the last session, the court had advised the parties involved in the case – Asa Investment Limited and the Kwara state government to explore the extrajudicial option in resolving the problem, in the interest of peace and harmony.
Subsequently, lawyers for the plaintiffs and defendants held reconciliation meetings on 6 and 11 February at the governor’s office, Ilorin.
At Monday’s session, which was supposed to be a report on the outcome of the peace talk, Saraki’s lawyer AbdulAziz Ibrahim and Salman Jawondo told the court that peace talks on the issue had failed due to irreconcilable differences.
Ibrahim listed his clients’ terms of solution to include “reversing the order for revocation made on the disputed land at Ile-Arugbo, rebuilding the partially demolished structures on the land and offering apologies to the elderly women who were harassed the night the structures were brought down. ”
He said the state government’s only term of agreement was the insistence that the revocation order placed on the disputed lands in Ile-Arugbo remain in the public interest.
He, however, expressed his customers’ willingness to forgo the second and third demands in the interests of peace.
Jawondo said the peace talks collapsed “when the claimants came out front that their demand for the reversal of the revocation order made in the disputed lands was not negotiable”.
Jawondo, who is the Attorney General of the State and Commissioner of Justice, later requested a postponement to an appropriate hearing of the case.
After hearing the attorney’s arguments and counter-arguments to the plaintiffs and defendants, Chief Justice Abiodun Adebara praised both parties and their attorney for meeting twice in their attempts to find a friendly solution to the crisis, as recommended by the court.
After the collapse of peace negotiations, Justice Adebara set March 25, 2020 for the hearing of the case.
He advised them to go ahead with an amicable settlement of the dispute.
He said that “however, as the two parties have not been able to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute, the process must continue and it is in this sense that the court will grant a postponement to the hearing.
“I postpone the case until March 25, 2020 for a hearing.”