•For Demolishing OSOSA Town Hall Without Permission
His Royal Majesty Oba Dr. Toye Mojeed Alatishe, the Gbegande of Ososa has dragged 2 of his Chiefs, Chief Dairo Owolabi (who is the Alamori of Oke Ala Quarters, in Ososa) and Chief Adesomiji Adebowale (the Oloritun of Ijoku Quarters, Ososa) to the Ijebu Ode High Court for allegedly demolishing the Ososa Town Hall owned by the entire people of Ososa without the authority of the king who is the custodian of the traditional, cultural, social & architectural heritage of the Ososa town.
His Statement of Claim reads:
(1) The claimant, HRM. Oba Dr. Toye Mojeed Alatishe, Ogunroyega IV, is the Crowned King of Ososa Town whose title is The Gbegande of Ososa. He is the custodian of the cultural, traditional, social and architectural heritage of Ososa Town where he is the Crowned King and The Prescribed Authority.
(2) The 1st defendant is a minor Chief i.e Alamori of Oke-Ala Quarter, Ososa – a quarter within the Ososa Town where the claimant is the Prescribed Authority. The 1st defendant is therefore subject to the authority and control of the claimant.
(3) The 2nd defendant, who claimed to be the Oloritun of Ijoku Quarters (also a minor chief) resides at Ijoku Quarters, Ososa Odogbolu Local Government, Ogun State.
(4) The subject matter of this suit is the Ososa Town Hall which formed part of the cultural and architectural heritage of Ososa Town (being one of the architectural monuments in the Ososa township and situated at the center of Ososa Town which was trespassed upon by the defendants who succeeded in substantially demolishing same unprovoked on 3rt! May, 2019 and 6th May, 2019.
(5) Upon ascending the throne of his forebears as the Gbegande of Ososa in August, 2010, the Claimant with the inestimable support of the good people of Ososa Town (the claimant’s subjects) had and has continued to ensure that the Town witness a lot of infrastructural developments. Among such infrastructural developments are the newly built Oba Gbegande’s Palace on the original palace site and the renovated and the reconstructed Oba Gbegande Market, Ososa.The Claimant will at trial found on:- (i) Evidence of the claimant’s appointment as The Gbegande of Ososa. (ii) The photograph pictures of the newly built Oba Gbegande Palace on the original palace site with the list of donors. (iii) Letter dated 28/2/16 from the claimant to the Chairman of Odogbolu Local Government, Prince Dr. Niyi Opanuga for express approval for the development of Oba Gbegande Old Market to a modern one. (iv) Letter dated 3/3/16 from the Transition Chairman of Odogbolu Local Government to the claimant granting express approval for the development of Oba Gbegande Old Market to a modern one. (v) The claimant’s petition to His Excellency, The Governor of Ogun State dated 15/1/19 when The Oba Gbegande Market was threatened with demolition by one Alhaji Sulaimon Adebola Adegunwa. (vi) The letter dated 29/4/19 from the Bureau of Lands and Survey, Abeokuta assuring the Claimant that the Oba Gbegande Market remain Government property and not that of an individual and that the government has no plan to demolish same. (vii) Bundle of photograph pictures showing the renovated and the reconstructed Oba Gbegande Market, Ososa.
(6) The Claimant, conscious of being the custodian of the traditional, cultural, social and architectural heritages of the Ososa Town is daily engaged in efforts aimed at revamping and modernizing the heritage to cope with the modern-day development without eroding the core values of the Town.
(7) Based on Paragraph 6 above, a consensus has been reached by the generality of the Ososa Town under the auspices of the Ososa Central Working Committee to renovate the Ososa Town Hall especially the roof and painting.
(8) It is further averred that meetings have been held severally under the leadership of Ososa United Society, Lagos (a foremost umbrella of all Associations in Ososa Town) which also has the “Renovation of the existing Town Hall to a monumental and archival building with little touches of modernity” as one its proposed projects as shown in the Society’s 2019 calendar with the blessing of the Claimant. The Claimant will at trial found on:- (i) The Ososa United Society, Lagos 2019 calendar. (ii) The minutes of the meeting of the Ososa United Society, Lagos 14/5/17. (iii) The pictures of Ososa Town Hall as at 2/5/19 on which consensus has been reached to be renovated with a touch of modernity before the unapproved trespass and substantial demolition by the defendants.
(9) The Claimant states further that part of the documents bequeathed to him upon ascending the throne revealed that The Ososa Town Hall which has been penciled down for renovation before the defendants trespass was built in 1950s -1960s through the collective effort of the Ososa people under the Ososa Central Working Committee chaired by Pa S. A. O. Dada, Pa Asani Ogunbadejo, Pa J. I. Ademolu (God blessed their memories) and a host of others who worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Ososa Town. The Claimant will at trial found on the Ososa Library, Offices and Town Hall Building: Progress Report and Financial Statement for 1956 – 1957 to 1960 – 1961 and The Ososa Central Working Committee Statement of
Account for 1960 – 1961 at trial by virtue of which not only the claimant that has been the custodian of these heritages but also the claimant’s predecessors-in-office as Gbegande.
(10) It is further averred that while the modus operandi of the renovation was being made, to the chagrin of the claimant, the Ososa United Society, Lagos, the Elders, the Traditional Institution and the good people of Ososa, the Defendants without the claimant’s authorization and without any provocation trespassed on to the Ososa Town Hall on 3/5/19 and 6/5/19 and began and successfully caused substantial damage to the Ososa Town Hall – an architectural monument cherished by the Ososa people – (the claimant’s subjects) including the claimant himself by substantially demolishing same. The Claimant will at trial found on the bundle of pictures showing the substantially demolished Ososa Town Hall by the defendants.
(11) To forestall the total breakdown of law and order, the claimant did not only prevailed on the Ososa people not to take the laws into their hands but also called on the Area Commander, Igbeba Police Area Command, Ijebu Ode who moved in swiftly to maintain law and order.
(12) The Claimant states that the various segments of the Ososa Town ranging from the Elders, youths, men, women, societies, religious groups, quarter heads etc have been besieging The Gbegande Palace to enquire whether it was the claimant that authorized the defendants to demolish the cherished Ososa Town Hall. The letter of protest by the Ososa United Society, Lagos is hereby pleaded.
(13) The Claimant who was pressured to immediately sanction the defendants opted however to first report the defendants to the Honorable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abeokuta by telephone and later by letter. The claimant will at trial found on the letter dated 7/5/2019.
(14) The monumental damage done to the Ososa Town Hall by the Defendants is better imagined than experienced thereby making the present moment a challenging one not only to the Traditional Institution personified by the claimant but also the entire good people of Ososa Town who cherished the labour of the Ososa Town Elders past and present in the building of the Ososa Town Hall.
(15) The Claimant states further that Pa Salabiu Dairo (the head of the 1st defendant’s family and Alhaji Safiriyu Hamzat aged 97 years who is the Balogun of Oke-Ala Quarters where the 1st defendant is the quarter head were both emphatic that neither them nor the Oke-Ala Community authorized such a condemnable destruction of the cherished Ososa Town Hall Building by the defendants and that in any case they have no such power or authority.
(16) Unless restrained by an Order of court, the defendants will continue with their unapproved demolition of the Ososa Town Hall.
(17) Whereupon the Claimant claimed against the defendants jointly: (i) A declaration that the defendants have no power to demolish the Ososa Town Hall owned by the entire people of Ososa without the authority of the claimant who is the custodian of the traditional, cultural, social and architectural heritage of the Ososa Town. (ii) A declaration that the unauthorized entry and the unapproved demolition of the Ososa Town Hall amount to trespass. (iii) Exemplary damages in the sum of N75,000,000.00 (Seventy Five Million Naira) against the defendants. (iv) Cost of the action.