Federal high court ruling ceding Ajaojuta, Lokoja, Kogi to Igala kingdom in bad faith, negates extant laws- Lawmaker



—- says ruling sensitive, has the propensity of causing serious crises, connotations of modern day slavery

The people of Lokoja, Kogi and Ajaokuta, local governments of Kogi state, ceding their ancestral lands to Igala kingdom was not only in bad faith, but was an action commenced, maintained and prosecuted in complete disregard to extant laws.

Member Representing Lokoja/Kogi federal Constituency, flanked by other leaders from the three LGAs

Addressing a press conference in Lokoja the Kogi state capital, on behalf of the group, Barrister Sh‘aba Ibrahim, member representing Lokoja/Kogi federal Constituency, said that the judgement was a complete violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the Land Use’ Act 1978 and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Ratification and Enforcement promulgated to promoteand protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African Continent.

He said that the people of Lokoja, Kogi and Ajaojuta were not parties to the proceedings, neither were they at anytime aware of the pendency of any action in respect of their ancestral land despite been in active possession for over two centuries prior to this action.

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He regretted that the ruling is sensitive and has the propensity of causing serious crises and equally has the trappings of modern day slavery and consequently unacceptable to all lovers of freedom. ‘

He stressed that since the judgment of a court binds only parties to the proceedings, they therefore consider the pronouncement of the court ceding their land to the claimant as bizarre and ‘ipso facto’ unacceptable.

Speaking further he said “the claim before the court as gleaned from the processes filed was in effect one of declaration of title to land. it is our humble position and an elementary principle of law that the Federal High Court, sitting in Lokoja lacks the jurisdiction over land matters or action connected therewith.

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“Assuming, without conceding that the Court had jurisdiction, commencing ‘an action for declaration of title to land Which is a contentious and disputed issue vide originating summons is not only strange and inappropriate but outrightly bad and incurably so. ‘

“That the cause of action in this case having arisen since 1940, is
statute barred, stale and thus rendering the action unmaintainable altogether.

“That the claimants case before the court was in respect of land the boundaries of which were vague and unascertainable, thus rendering the action incurably bad.

“That the action by the claimant and the relief’s sought failed to take cognisance of the cordiality of relationship between the component ethnic units of Kogi State and is capable of causing a breach of the peace.

He therefore called on the good, loving, peaceful and Law abiding people of the affected areas to remain calm’ and law abiding, saying that they have commenced the process of redress to set aside the said judgment on Appeal that has the trappings of modern day slavery and consequently unacceptable to all lovers of freedom. ‘

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The Federal High Court of Nigeria, sitting in Lokoja in a matter between His Royal Majesty, Michael Ameh Oboni, Attah igaia and the Attorney Generai of the Federation and one other had delivered Judgment on Tuesday the 2nd day of June, 2020 where inter alia, the court granted the claimants relief’s suggesting that Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Kogi Local Government Area were part of the Attah igala’s Kingdom and thus ceding the said Local Government Areas back and recognising them as part of igaia Kingdom.

The Ohi of Ajaojuta, Alhaji Isah Achuja and the Adogu of Eganyi in Ajaojuta, Muhammed Adambe, led the delegation from Ajaojuta

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