Ile Arugbo: Saraki writes Kwara govt, seeks out-of-court settlement

There is a fresh twist to the impasse over the demolition of a property belonging to the father of ex-President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as New Telegraph, yesterday, learnt that he has officially written to the state government for out-of-court settlement.

Saraki and the Kwara State government have been locked in a war of words over demolition of the said property on January 2.

Ile-Arugbo belonged to ASA Investment Ltd owned by the ex-Governor Saraki’s father and Second Republic Senate Leader, Olusola Saraki.

While Saraki described government’s action as a witch-hunt by the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led administration, the state government said the land on which Ile Arugbo was built, belongs to it and was not duly acquired.

The Saraki family had insisted on ownership of the land and recently approached the court to prove that the land was legally acquired.

But court officials said the only document the Sarakis have filed through their firm – Asa Investment Limited – to prove their case before it is a mere letter of allocation in principle without attaching any Right of Occupancy or Certificate of Occupancy documents.

The state government, which said the land was originally meant for state secretariat and civil service clinic, but was unlawfully hijacked, has insisted that the said controversial allocation letter contained conditions the firm never met until the expiration of the 90 days moratorium given to it as far back as June 2005.

However, in a letter dated January 20 and addressed to the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, counsel to ASA Investment, Barr. Ayodeji Ibrahim, said the applicants are now willing to settle the matter in line with the court’s advice that the two parties should explore out-of-court settlement.

The letter was titled: “Re: Suit No. KWS/463/2019 (ASA Investment vs Governor of Kwara State and 4 others).”

It read: “We are counsel to the claimant in the above suit on whose behalf and instruction we write on the above pursuant to the advice and directive of the court on the above matter that parties should explore settlement with the view to resolve the outstanding dispute between parties in respect of the subject matter in contention.

“Consequently, we hereby request that you should use your good office as the Chief Law Officer of the state to make the necessary arrangements as to time and venue where parties can meet and discuss.

“While trusting that our request herein would be treated with the needed swift attention it deserves, kindly accept the assurances of our esteem regards.”

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