A constitutional lawyer, Dr Tunji Abayomi, has alleged the Ondo state judiciary of deliberately refusing to enforce the judgment of the supreme court on the popular BTO Hall property Along Ilesa garage in Akure, Ondo state capital.
Addressing newsmen in Akure on Wednesday, Mr Abayomi specifically alleged Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye of unnecessarily frustrating and delaying the supreme court judgment which had ruled that the property belonged to Mrs Bola Fayanju, Popularly known as Bola Meat.
The legal professional however threatened that if the judge insisted on frustrating the enforcement of the judgment, his client would be forced to acquire the property by all means necessary.
Abayomi said, “The Plaintiff Mrs. Bola Fayanju (popularly called Bola Meat) filed a writ of summons dated May17, 2007 against 4 defendants to wit (1) Mrs. Yemisi Ogidan, (ii) Engnr. Ogidan, (of B.T.O. Hall), her husband Olatunde Fayanju and one Mr. George Amigun.
“The substance of the case was that Ondo State High Court should invalidate the sale of the B.T.O. Land by Claimant’s husband the 3rd defendant to the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants on the declaratory ground that either that the Claimant owned the land or that the Claimant and her husband jointly owned the land in which case sale of the land cannot be valid without the consent of the Claimant.
“The case of the Claimant was that she worked to provide the money for the purchase of the land which was the only land her family The husband 3rddefendant wrongly and improperly registered the land solely in his name and sold the land despite her protest to the 1, 2nd and 4th defendants.
“The Claimant’s case was that her husband was wrong to sell the land to the 1°, 2nd and 4 defendants who were at any rate warned not to buy the land.
“At the end of trial before Hon. Justice O. O. Akeredolu as he then was, judgment was given to the Claimant to the effect that she jointly owned the property with her husband who could not sell it without her consent. The Court set aside the sale of the land otherwise called Plot 6, Block IX, Okuta Elerinla Residential Estate, Akure and awarded N65,000.00 (Sixty Five Thousand Naira) damages and costs against the defendants in favour of the Claimant.
“Dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court, the 1st and 2nd defendants filed a Notice of Appeal dated June 6, 2012. At the end of argument at the Court of Appeal, that Court affirmed the judgment of the High Court.
“Now still dissatisfied with the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, the 1st and 2nd defendant lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court. The appeal at the Supreme Court came up on the 20th day of July, 2023. Both parties were represented. We raised objection to the competence of the appeal which was struck out ending the long travail and leaving the High Court Judgment binding and controlling.
“On September 26, 2023 we filed in the Registry of Ondo State High Court an application for the enforcement of the Judgment of Ondo State High Court, affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
“We presented to Ondo State High Court, Certified True Copy of the Judgment of the High Court of June 30, 2009, that of the Court of Appeal dated 14th December, 2016 and the decision of the Supreme Court striking out the appeal dated July 10, 2023.
“After waiting for 3 weeks, we were informed that the application for enforcement of the judgment had been assigned to one of the Judges. Again we waited, only to be informed that the Judge questioned the Enrolment Order of the Supreme Court duly certified by Olugbenga O. Owodolu Registrar, Supreme Court dated 20/09/2023 with all the official signs on it.
“Now, totally flagabasted as I have never heard of a High Court questioning the Enrolment Order of the Supreme Court, I sent to Ondo State High Court a Certified True Copy of the Supreme Courts’ Ruling in the case SC/57/2017 with yet another copy of the Certified Enrolment Order to fulfill all righteousness.
“On October 26, 2023 we received yet another notice of query that since the Claimant was declared a joint owner with her husband who was the 3d defendant in the case, Claimant’s application was incompetent without concurrent application from her husband. In other words, application for enforcement of the judgment by a sole Judgment Creditor, in this case, can, according to this query, only be competent if jointly made by the 3d defendant husband.
“We not aware under Law of a situation where an application for enforcement of Judgment by a sole Judgment Creditor can be rendered incompetent without the joining of a defendant applicant or a situation where a defendant against whom a decision was made MUST apply with a Judgment Creditor to validate an application for enforcement. As far as we know, ONLY a Judgment Creditor who is often the Claimant or Counter-Claimant can apply or validly apply for enforcement of Judgment.
“This can scarcely be otherwise, in this case where joint ownership was a relief pleaded by the Claimant and granted solely to the Claimant against a counter-plea of the defendants including the 3rd defendant.
“Nevertheless, to fulfill all righteousness we forwarded the Death Certificate of the 3rd defendant’s husband which we got from the wife to Ondo State High Court.
“Despite the legal duty under Judicial Oath impose on Judges to perform judicial duties “in accordance with the Constitution and the Law” 287 of the Constitution says decisions of Courts shall be enforced in any part of the “Section Federation by ALL authorities and persons and by Courts with subordinate jurisdiction“…… the Ondo State High Court continues in its failure to enforce her judgment affirmed by the Courts of appeal.
“The lawless judgment debtors remain in occupation of a property denied to them by the decision three Courts. They put thugs to protect interest they don’t have in utter contempt of due administration of justice. The Ondo State High Court by its decision meanwhile imposes helplessness on itself in enforcing the judgment it gave.
“We have written yet another letter to the Ondo State High Court to stop giving allowance to lawlessness by the judgment debtors. I call this Press Conference to avoid the breakdown of law and order at the B. T. O. land, because ALL persons not only the Courts are obliged to enforce court decisions in Nigeria.”