• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

FG/NIWA: Lawyer lauds S’Court’s judgment, Accuses Oba Elegushi of Illegal Land Acquisition

ByHybrid News

Jan 15, 2024

A Lagos based lawyer, Olajide Ajana has lauded the Supreme Court’s judgment on reaffirming the authority of the Federal Government (FG) through the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to control activities in NIWA.

Ajana in a press conference said the interpretation of the judgment simply means that lands in the waterways does not belong to Oba Elegushi as he doesn’t have the title and that the State government cannot issue any titled document as the rightful person to issue title in the waterways areas is the Federal government through its agency NIWA.

Recall that the Federal Government and Lagos State government have been in a legal battle on who has regulatory rights over the nation’s waterways. But recently, the Supreme court ruled in favour of FG and its Inland Waterways regulatory agency, NIWA.

Justice Okoro, in a judgment delivered in Abuja, validated an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in suit number FHC/CS/543/2012, which pronounced NIWA as the authentic authority over Nigerian inland waterways and advised Lagos State Government and its agencies and any other state in the country to stay away from regulatory activities on Nigeria Inland Waterways.

Reacting in the press briefing, the lawyer explained that the Supreme court has transferred the control of activities on the nation’s inland waterways including levying, licensing operators in the sector that it belongs exclusively to the Federal government and its agencies.

“The existing law gives exclusive control of activities in the nation’s inland waterways to the Federal government through its agencies. NIWA is the only agency of the federal government with power to exclusively manage, direct and control all activities of the navigable waterways, according to Sections 8 and 9 of NIWA Act,” he explained.

The lawyer recalled that the appeal was filed by the agency of the government and it was prosecuted by the present Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

“The supreme court agrees with Fagbemi’s argument that NIWA is the only agency that is saddled with the responsibility to levy, impose, and share the rate of utilitilisation of inland waterways authority,” he recalled.

Ajana noted that the implication of the Supreme court judgment is that all those titles that were issued by Lagos State government to a Nigerian monarch, Oba Saheed Elegushi and other people are null and void.

“The supreme court’s decision in this case has rendered null and void all the Lagos state titles issued to Oba Elegushi over inland waterways.”

The lawyer also accused Oba Elegushi of using his political might to acquire lands with fake titles through his dredging companies; Elcathay Dredging Company Nigeria Limited and Blue Bay Estate and Marina.

Alleging illegal acquisition of land by Oba Elegushi, Ajana made available to our correspondent, Police Investigation report from the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police FCID, Abuja which complaints were initiated by Prince Toluwaleke Megba and Lucky Megba Ojonla Ltd and stated in Paragraph 4, 27 that the document and letter from Lagos State Government tasked on Environment, absolving themselves from the demolition indicates that Oba Saheed Ademola Elegunshi Royal Family are responsible for the demolition of the properties of the complainants.

Over the illegal land acquisition accusations, Ajana recalled that investigation was ongoing by the police where Oba Elegushi along with five other suspects; Mr Wael Almansour, Mr Karim Almansour, Al-Mansour Contracting and Dev. Ltd, Chiedu Nweke, Oba Saheed Elegushi and Chief Kehinde Hassan Elegushi all accused of malicious damage, violation of court order, threat to life and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

The report confirmed and concluded that a prima-facle case of conspiracy, malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace has been established against the suspects.

Ajana said that Oba Elegushi Also that Oba Elegunshi approached the court to have his name removed but the complainants have approached the Court of Appeal to restore his name so that he can be prosecuted.

“We want to enlighten the general public and investors that Oba Saheed Elegushi does not have Title to the lands he is selling along the Nigerian Inland Waterways. Lagos State government also cannot issue title, as the rightful person to issue title as the rightful person to issue title in the waterways areas is the Federal government through its agency NIWA.

“So Lagos State government has been excluded completely from issuing Certificate of Occupancy ( C of O) or any titled document in respect of lands that are in the waterways,” he said.

Leave a Reply