Ile Arugbo: Saraki Loses Land To Kwara Government
Kwara State Government on Tuesday got a legal green light to proceed with building on the controversial Ile Arugbo land in Ilorin, with the court striking out the Bukola Saraki’s suit challenging the government’s take over of the land.
Justice Abiodun Adewara of the Ilorin High Court struck out the case on Tuesday for “lack of diligent prosecution”.
The judge said the case was struck out after the appellants – Asa Investment Ltd – failed to call any witness to support their claim that the choice land belonged to the firm or owned by the late Dr. Olusola Saraki.
After many years of using the land to host their political followers in the heart of the capital city, the government reclaimed the land from the Sarakis in December 2019 and went ahead to clear the land ahead of its use for the construction of another government secretariat.
The government had said the land originally belonged to the public but was controversially transferred to a firm owned by Saraki without any payment made to the government or document issued for that purpose, in one of the most vivid examples of abuse of power and annexation of public properties for private use.
The Saraki, in turn, challenged the government’s decision by filing a court case to keep ownership of the land, claiming they have documents to prove ownership of the property.
The court adjourned the suit to March 17, 2021.