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Saturday, 16 January 2016

SUN: 50 years after, controversy rages over Akintola's lodge

Some want Western Region Premier's House turned to monument, others lobby for its sale 

Plot 6 is not an innocuous address on Simeon Adebeo Avenue, Government Reservation Area (GRA) Iyaganku, Ibadan. Until about two years ago, it served as the premises of the Federal Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division. It sits atop and on the right side of the avenue, which sits on a knoll that slopes from the popular NTC/Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre end of the avenue ascending towards the next plexus of roads linking the popular Ring Road.

For decades that the court sat there, the complex was a beehive of activities, thronged by busy traffic of judges, lawyers, police, litigants, court workers and other members of the public who had business there either as case witnesses or merely to observe proceedings.

On normal days, the narrow lane named after the late seasoned public administrator and first Head of Service in the defunct Western Region, who also served as Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), were lined with parked vehicles, while the serenity of the environment was sometimes shattered by crowds of supporters of parties to landmark political lawsuits which often came up before their lordships. Till date, taxi drivers plying the Mokola-Iyaganku-Ring Road-Challenge route still use it as drop point to discharge passengers.

However, only few probably knew that this premises, hosting an old, albeit magnificent storey building, had more history and significance in the annals of Nigeria.