Barely two days after a Federal High Court in Lagos restrained the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), from allocating any portion of a property located at B20, Wole Olateju Crescent, off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1 in Eti-Osa Local government Area, the state has commenced demolition of the disputed property in flagrant violation of the court’s order.
Justice David Osiagor had on October 18, 2021, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1384/21 filed by Admiralty Fleet Limited (BICS Garden) and Admiral Porbeni (rtd), restrained the Lagos AG and the Lagos State Special Task Force Unit (defendants) from allocating any portion of the parcel of land, building, and appurtenances or enter into the disputed property pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
The plaintiffs through their lawyers, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN) and Abiodun Olatunji (SAN), had in a motion on notice for Interlocutory Injunction brought pursuant to Section 43 of the Constitution, Section 1, 2 and 3 of the Lands (title vesting etc.) ACT CAP. L7 LFN 2004, Sections 10, 11, 12 and 13 of NIWA ACT CAP 47 LFN 2004, order 26 (1) (2) and Order 28(1) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019 urged the court to restrain the defendants from entering into the disputed property pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
Consequently, Justice Osiagor, in his order, restrained the first and third defendants from entering into the said property for the purpose of forcefully removing the plaintiff or any of the plaintiff’s equipment, machinery, structures and boats pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The judge also refused the request of the first and third defendants to consolidate the applicants’ motion on notice with the preliminary objection filed by the defendants stressing that the preliminary objection was not ripe for hearing.
However, in defiance of the court’s order, Lagos State allegedly invaded the premises, demolished the property and damaged some equipment.
An affidavit in support of the motion on notice stated that sometimes in 1987, Admiral Porbeni (second applicant), acquired the disputed land measuring 1996.86 square metres from the Lagos State Government and was granted a Certificate of Occupancy dated December 3, 1987, and registered as No 88 at Page 99 in Vol. 1987E at the Lagos State Land Registry Office, Ikeja.
Sometime in 1996, the second applicant acquired an additional parcel of land located at Lekki in Lagos Island Local Government Area measuring 3239.51 square metres from Lagos state and subsequently applied for and was granted a Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy in respect of the land.
Also, the second applicant in compliance with revenue payment advice received from the second respondent (National Inland Waterways Authority) on December 18, 2006, and on June 14, 2007, paid the sum of N356,500 and N120, 000 for permit approval fee, inspection fee, shore utilization and permit renewal, inspection fee and structure for waterways respectively