Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Following the collapse of the peace talks on an amicable resolution of the disputed land on which the Ile Arugbo – a property of the Saraki family – was built, Justice Abiodun Adebara of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has fixed March 25 for the hearing of the suit challenging the Kwara State Government’s revocation of the land belonging to the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Saraki.
Justice Adebara had at the last sitting of the court on January 24 advised the parties involved in the case- Asa Investment Limited and the Kwara State Government to employ dialogue in resolving the issue in the interest of peace and harmony.
Thereafter, counsel to both the claimants and the defendants held reconciliation meetings on February 6 and 11 at the Governor’s office in Ilorin.
However, counsel to the Asa Investment Limited, AbdulAziz Ibrahim, and that of the state government, Salman Jawondo, who is the state’s Attorney-General told the court on Monday that the peace talks collapsed over irreconcilable differences on the term of amicable settlement of the dispute.
Ibrahim listed his client’s terms of settlement to include “the reversal of the revocation order placed on the disputed land, reconstruction of the partially demolished structures on the land and offering of apology to the aged women that were harassed on the night when the structures were pulled down.”
He said the state government’s only term of the settlement was the insistence that the revocation order placed on the disputed land stands because of public interest.
He, however, expressed the readiness of his clients to forgo the second and third demands in the interest of peace.
For his part, counsel to the state government Jawondo said the peace talks collapsed “when the claimants came out frontally that their demand for the reversal of the revocation order placed on the disputed land was not negotiable.”
Jawondo, therefore, sought an adjournment for a proper hearing of the suit.
After listening to the argument and counter-arguments by the counsel to the claimants and the defendants, Justice Adebara commended both parties and their counsel for meeting twice in their attempts to find an amicable resolution to the crisis as advised by the court.
He advised them to still forge ahead on an amicable resolution of the dispute.
“However, since the two parties had not been able to reach an amicable resolution of the dispute, the suit ought to continue and it’s in this regard that the court will grant an adjournment for hearing.
“I, hereby, adjourn the case till 25th of March, 2020 for hearing,” Adebara ruled.