Land Dispute or Fundamental Rights Infringement? A Recap of A4 Realty Ltd v. Access Bank PLC & 5 Ors Hearing

On the 18th of March 2024, the High Court of Lagos State, Ajah, Lagos, witnessed a significant legal showdown in the matter between A4 Realty Ltd and Access Bank PLC & 5 Ors. Presided over by Hon. Justice G.A Safari, the courtroom was abuzz with legal representatives from both sides.

Representing the Applicant were P.I Nwafuru, Oluwatobi Akinboade, and M.I Abdulwasiu, while Mustapha Adenifuja, D.J Fashaye, and Muritala Olakunle stood for the 1st Respondent. Fanen Anun and A. Anibaba represented the 4th and 6th Respondents, respectively. Notably absent were legal representatives for the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Respondents.

The session commenced with P.I Nwafuru apologizing for the absence of lead Counsel Gbenga Ajala, citing jurisdictional constraints. Despite this setback, he assured the Court of preparedness and sought to move the Applicant’s Amended Originating Application.

Following unopposed proceedings, P.I Nwafuru presented the Applicant’s case, underscoring the significance of attached exhibits, notably the Deed of Assignment and email correspondence. However, objections surfaced regarding the inclusion of Exhibits TLS 1 and TLS 3, which were not initially served to the 1st and 6th Respondents. Nevertheless, P.I Nwafuru swiftly addressed the issue and proceeded with his argument.

The 1st Respondent’s Counsel, along with others, countered, emphasizing the nature of the dispute as a land issue rather than a fundamental rights infringement. They highlighted discrepancies in the land transaction and raised concerns over financial aspects.

In response, P.I Nwafuru presented additional affidavits and countered the Respondents’ arguments, urging the Court to consider the reliefs sought and the validity of the Respondents’ claims.

Amidst legal jousting, both parties agreed to adopt preliminary objections and counter affidavits, setting the stage for a subsequent judgment on the 15th of May 2024.

As the courtroom adjourned, the case left observers pondering the intricate balance between property rights and legal technicalities, awaiting the final verdict that could reshape land dispute jurisprudence.