Appeal Court dismisses land case for lack of merit – Guardian

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The Court of Appeal sitting at Gombe has dismissed the appeal filed by Fette Saidu against Christopher Botin over ownership of farmland for lacks of merit.
In the judgment, delivered by Justice Ebiowei Tobi, the Court held that the lower Court in reversing the decisions of the two courts under it, that is, the Area Court and the upper Area Court, upset the finding of facts of the Courts. 
He said: “The lower Court correctly in my view interfered with the finding of the fact of the Area and Upper Area Courts as they do not reflect or correspond with the evidence presented before it.
“I make bold to say that on the strength of the evidence before the Area Court and the Upper Area Court, the courts were wrong in holding that the appellant had proved its title to the land in dispute above the respondent. I resolve this issue also in favour of the respondent,” the court held.

Justice Tobi said the facts that culminated into the appeal are not complicated as there are common grounds among the parties. He therefore awarded N100, 000 in favour of the respondent.
Saidu, the appellant had at the lower court demanded ownership of the parcel of farmland, which he claimed is his inheritance from his late father.
The respondent on the other hand also laid claim to the same land, stating that it was his inheritance from his own late father.
The case commenced at the Area Court Poshiya, where the court ruled in favour of the appellant.
The respondent appealed to the Upper Area Court in Billiri, which confirmed the decision of the Area Court.
The respondent further appealed to the High Court, which overturned the decision of the Upper Area Court.
“Having found that the appellant proved better title to the disputed farmland, the trial and lower court ought to have found for the appellant. Having evaluated the evidence of the parties on record, we are of the humble view that the appellant who put up the defence of traditional history and long possession of the disputed land has proved better title to the land through the evidence of DW1-4.
“We accordingly resolve issue 1, 2 and an omnibus ground in favour of the appellant against the respondent. We allow the appeal, set aside the concurrent judgment of the courts below and enter judgment in favour of the appellant, who has established better title to the disputed farmland,” the high court had ruled.

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