The ruling which was delivered on May 12, this year by Justice A.A Akinyemi of the Abeokuta Division of the High Court of Ogun State implies that the founder of MFM, Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, may either lose the land or repurchase it from the adjudged rightful owners.
It also means that the church acquired the land from, and paid people who were not the rightful owners. Ownership dispute over the land began in 2003 and took the form of litigation via two different cases – Suit Nos. AB/60/2003 and AB/61/2003), between the Adejonlu and Oduleye families, SaharaReporters reported.
Justice Akinyemi’s ruling, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, declared the Adejonlu family as genuine owners of the land situated in Magada, Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area, and that they are entitled to the right of occupancy over the land.
Following the ruling, handing ownership and right of occupancy to the Adejonlu family, their lawyer, Mr. R. O. Sadik said he wrote many letters to Mr. Olukoya for negotiation and settlement. He said he took the steps because of the profile of the pastor and his church but that the church was unwilling to cooperate.
According to the letters, the landowners requested the church, assisted by their lawyers, to determine the size and portion of their land on which MFM Prayer City sits. The letter also demanded a payment of N5million per plot to cover the acreage that would be agreed on by the land owners and the church. Similarly, the letter demanded the immediate payment of 40 per cent of the total cost of the acreage agreed upon.