Anglican church wins land dispute case against Uromi monarch

In addition to the judgement, the court granted the Anglican church's claim of injunction and awarded damages of N1 million and legal cost of N15, 000 against the defendant

A land dispute case involving the Anglican Communion, diocese of Esan in Edo state and the traditional ruler of Uromi, HRH Zaiki Anslem Aidenoje, has been judged in favour of the church at a High Court sitting in Uromi area of the state.

According to a judgement delivered by the presiding judge, A. Oyakhilome, the church was the rightful owner of the land which is situated at the junction of Uromi/Ubiaja Road, having obtained an absolute grant from the great-grand father of monarch (defendant) in 1930.

In addition to the judgement, the court granted the Anglican church's claim of injunction and awarded damages of N1 million and legal cost of N15, 000 against the defendant.

Reports say Justice Oyakhilome maintained the defendant (monarch of Uromi) could not provide the court with credible evidence of ownership as he said his claims were ‘hear say’, as evidenced by his testimonies before court during which he only said his father told him the land belonged to the palace of Uromi.

The judge also said that the non challenge of the church’s occupation of the land for 83 years was at variance with “common sense,” adding that there were evidence that claimant was in total possession of the land before the defendant’s invasion on January 2, 2014.

The monarch had been dragged by the church represented by counsel Gabriel Giwa-Amu, before the court for trespass on the land, obtaining an injunction restraining the monarch, his servants and agents from entering and/or in anyway trespassing and interfering with the claimant’s entire land in dispute till the determination of the case.

The Church had also accused the traditional ruler of not obtaining permission, bringing in tractors and commenced building of commercial stores on the said land on January 2, 2014, demanding the sum of N5 million as damages.

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