Hearing begins in school proprietor’s suit against Lagos over school acquisition
A 92-year-old woman, Roseline Ololo, has sued the Lagos State Government at an Ikeja High Court over alleged acquisition of two schools belonging to her.
The schools are Metropolitan College and Isolo Secondary School.
The Attorney-General of Lagos and the Lagos State Commissioner of Education are joined as co-defendants in the suit.
Ololo, an indigene of Abia State, alleged that she and her late spouse established the Metropolitan College in 1956.
She also claimed in her affidavit that her family ran the schools until 1976 when the schools were acquired by the military administration of Commodore Adekunle Lawal by virtue of the Education Private Secondary Institutions (Special Provisions) Law of 1976.
Ololo said: “The civilian government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande split my school into two namely; the Metropolitan College and the Isolo Secondary School.
“This was in order to accommodate the influx of students occasioned by the free education policy of the government.”
The nonagenarian claimed that she and her late spouse rejected the LASG government’s compensation in 1976 because the compensation offered was grossly inadequate.”
According to Ololo’s counsel, Maxwell Omirhobo, in 2001 during the administration of Governor Bola Tinubu, all private schools were returned to their original owners.
Omirhobo said: “By virtue of the Education Private Secondary Institutions (Repeal) Law 2001, all schools acquired by the LASG were returned to their owners.
“However, since 2001 my client’s schools have not been returned to her by the government which has been running the schools and making profit.
“This is despite repeated demands and protests by Mrs Ololo that her schools should be returned to her.
“My client, as a Nigerian citizen, has the right to own landed property anywhere in the country as guaranteed under Section 43 of the constitution.” .
Ololo is asking the court to declare that the refusal of the Lagos State Government to return the schools to her is a violation of her human rights.
She is also seeking a declaration of court that the action of LASG amounts to “discrimination along ethnic lines”.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, the Counsel to the Lagos State Government, O.I. Ologe, told the court that the state government had filed a counter-affidavit to Ololo’s claim.
Ologe said: “We have received their application and filed our counter-affidavit.”
The Judge, Justice R.I.B Adebiyi, adjourned hearing in the case until December 5.