The Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, has struck out the suit challenging the demolition and acquisition of the disputed land of the late Dr Olusola Saraki (Ile Arugbo) by the Kwara State Government, for want of diligent prosecution.
The case was brought by claimants to the land, Asa Investment Limited against the state government.
The state government had on January 2020 taken over the said property, alleging illegal acquisition by the claimants.
Counsel to the claimants, Abdulazeez Ibrahim had earlier filed an application brought pursuant to Order 11 Rule 17 of the Kwara State High Court (2005) seeking to substitute the late second claimant, Alhaji Baba Eleku with one Abubakar Oluwatoyin.
Ibrahim also sought for adjournment of the case to another day to enable him to file the statement of the oath of Abubakar Oluwatoyin, adding that “he is an important party and witness in this case.”
In his short ruling on Tuesday, presiding Justice Abiodun Adewara refused the claimant’s application for adjournment, asking them to call their first witness.
Responding, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo said: “At this stage, since they cannot continue with the case, we urge the court to invoke order 39, rule 4 to strike out the case.”
Delivering his judgement, Justice Adewara said Order 39, rule 4 was no applicable in the matter, adding that “Order 39, rule 20 readily comes to mind. claimants are not prosecuting the case diligently. the suit is therefore struck out for lack of diligent prosecution.”
He then adjourned the case to March 17 for the defendants’ proof of counterclaim.
Fielding questions from journalists after the court session, Abdulazeez Ibrahim said: “No cause for alarm, we will brief our lead counsel who will, in turn, brief his clients.”