Justice Abiodun Adewara of the Ilorin High has struck out Saraki’s case over lack of diligent prosecution, thereby given the Kwara State Government a go ahead to build structures on the controversial land.
This judgement was made on Tuesday at a High Court in Ilorin.
The case was struck out after the appellants — Saraki’s Asa Investment Ltd — again failed to call any witness to support their claim that the choice land belonged to the firm said to be owned by the late Olusola Saraki.
Earlier on Monday when the case came up for hearing, Counsel to the claimants Abdulazeez Ibrahim had told the court that a joinder to the case Alhaji Sanusi Babaeleku has suddenly died, leading to the court striking out the name of the deceased.
When the case resumed on Tuesday, Ibrahim said they were replacing Alhaji Babaeleku with one Alhaji Abubakar Oluwatoyin, a request that the court granted and then asked them to proceed with their case by calling their other witnesses.
The counsel however said they were not prepared to proceed because their lead counsel Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN), who he claimed has the relevant documents to proceed with the case, had just lost his mother and was preparing for the burial.
Counsel to the Kwara State Government Barrister Salman Jawondo however drew the attention of the court to what he called a deliberate attempt to delay the hearing and dispensation of the case after more than one year of judicial filibustering, urging the court to dismiss the case for lack of diligent prosecution.
He cited the previous failings of the claimants to prosecute their case, an observation that the judge said was valid and therefore struck out the case “for lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants.”
Jawondo meanwhile has said the government is willing to press counter claims of ownership of the land against the Asa Investment Limited.
The court has adjourned to 17 March, 2021 to hear the counter claims.248