Former Nigerian Air Force Chief loses land, N50m claim

An Abuja high court dismissed a former Chief of Air staff’s claim to a plot of land at Lugbe in Abuja.

An Abuja High Court on Wednesday dismissed the claim of a former Chief of Air Staff, Femi John Femi, to a 300sq m plot of land located at Sabon-Lugbe Layout, Abuja.

Mr. Femi had sued Temitope Salami, another claimant, for allegedly trespassing into his land, which he purportedly acquired from the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in 1995.

Delivering judgment, Justice Angela Otaluka held that “the purported claim and title documents of both parties are null and void, having not been signed by the appropriate authority.”

Mr. Otaluka said the chairmen and secretaries of the FCT Area Councils had no powers to allocate or revoke land.

“It is the duty of the FCT Minister to allocate and sign any allocation paper on behalf of the president, with regards to land within the territory, and such powers cannot be delegated.

“He who is in possession of any title document(s) without the minister’s approval, only has `possessor’s right’ to the land, pending when the rightful owner emerges,’’ she said.

Mr. Otaluka also dismissed the counter-claim of the second claimant, Salami, thereby, denying both parties ownership of the property.

“This consequently brings the two parties to the status quo of having received nothing from AMAC,” she said.

Mr. Otaluka refused to grant the relief sought by the plaintiff for an order compelling the defendant to pay him N50 million to cover “cost, general, aggravated and exemplary damages’’.

“Similarly, the court orders that the relief sought by the plaintiff for the defendant to pay him N50 million for general, aggravated and exemplary damages is not granted,” she said.

The case of the said land had been on since 2012.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Michael Eleyinmi, had, in addition to his client’s testimony, tendered the purported title documents.

The counsel to the defendant on the other hand, Eniola Ayenuberu, countered the plaintiff’s arguments and documents with his client’s purported title documents.


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