The Oyeyemi family of Lagos is embroiled in a legal dispute with the Oba of Lagos, King Riliwanu Akiolu, over the ownership of an “ancestral” property situated at 87, Docemu Street, Lagos Island. The family alleges that their efforts to access and renovate the property, which has been marked as “stressed” by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, have been persistently thwarted by individuals believed to be acting on behalf of the Oba of Lagos.
Chief Mrs. Morilat Onikoyi, the head of the Oyeyemi family, expressed her concerns, stating, “Every time we attempt to address the building’s renovation, as required due to the government’s notice, we face obstruction by individuals suspected to be agents of the Oba of Lagos.”
The property’s history is rooted in a lease agreement dating back to May 20, 1989. According to this lease agreement document, the property was entrusted to a developer for management for a duration of 20 years, with the expectation of its return. The agreement was signed by six individuals, including the then Ojora of Lagos, Taoridi Akanni, Mustapha Akinolu, and Adedeji Aromire, among others, who were categorized into three groups: Oluya, Adeshina, and Meku.
However, over three decades after the expiration of the 20-year lease, the Oyeyemi family, also affiliated with the Aromire chieftaincy family of Lagos, contends that they possess the title documents for the property, which has now evolved into a two-story building. The family has provided these title documents for verification.
Onikoyi emphasized that while she was not present when the property was entrusted to the developer, the agreement stipulated that the developer could use it for the agreed period and then return it, as confirmed by the representatives of the Aromire chieftaincy family. She claimed that attempts to seek resolution with the king (Oba of Lagos) proved unsuccessful.
Despite these assertions, there are concerns about the property’s fate, as the Lagos State Government has designated it as “stressed” and set a renovation deadline. Onikoyi challenged the opposition’s claim by questioning, “If it is truly their property, will they look at it until it collapses?”
The Oba of Lagos, who was in the United Kingdom at the time of contact, defended the position that the property was the Aromire chieftaincy family’s, of which he is a member, and disputed the sole ownership claims made by the Oyeyemi family. He accused them of greed and noted that the property generates revenue, which is securely held in an account. The Oba of Lagos further emphasised that “the whole money we collect (from that property) is intact in an account. It’s greed that is worrying them; they’re looking for what to eat.”
The situation remains complex and has prompted a call for a renovation permit, which may require verification through the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority.
Efforts to obtain comments from relevant authorities, including LABSCA (Lagos State Building Control Agency), were underway to shed more light on the matter.
Source: Punch/Charles Okogene