State High Courts to Determine Land Compensation Matters

Source: Pulse NG, July 16, 2018

The Court of Appeal in Calabar has delivered Judgment in favour of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (Mobil) in an Appeal arising from the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Uyo, delivered on March 27, 2014 on compensation to land.

Mobil had by this Appeal challenged the decision of the Federal High Court in Suit No.  FHC/UY/CS/53/2003 filed by Nwoko & Co. which judgment sum plus interest amounted to over NGN1.2billion against Mobil for compensation to land.

In a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal agreed with the submissions of Counsel to Mobil, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu SAN, as canvassed by Ituah Imhanze, Esq. of Kenna Partners, and held that in line with section 39 of the Land Use Act 1978, the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine matters in relation to compensation to land.

The Court further decided that Mobil, having paid compensation for the land to appropriate authorities, ought not to have been joined as a party to the suit.

The Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Calabar, Hon. Justice I.M.M. Saulawa delivered the lead judgment with Hon. Justice S.J. Adah and Hon. Justice J.O.K Oyewole concurring.

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