The Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja, has restrained he Federal Housing Authority, FHA, and Lagos State Building Control Agency, LSBCA, from further demolition of residential buildings in 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The trial judge, Justice Omolade Awope, had granted the order, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, following the suit by Samuel Ahmed, Martinson Realtors Investment Limited, Taoheed Amusa and R. Balogun, seeking a pre-emptive order of injunction against FHA and LSBCA.
So far, FHA and LSBCA have demolished over 600 houses and partially demolished about 700 others on 6th Avenue in Festac Town.
In the pre-emptive order of injunction, the court restrained the first defendant/respondent whether acting by itself or through its agents, privies, assigns or any special task force, para-military officers or otherwise, howsoever, described from demolishing and/or removing any building or property erected in 6th Avenue Festac Town or any other part of Festac Town in alleged enforcement of ‘Town Planning Laws’ pending the applicant’s compliance with the Lagos State High Court Practice Directions No. 2 of 2019 on Pre-action Protocol.
The order was a sequel to the motion exparte by the claimants, who adduced 10 grounds upon which they sought the order.
The grounds include, “That the instant suit was brought before the court under the order of the Supreme Court in Appeal Ne: 8C.931/2007 delivered on (March 8, 2022, and re-initiated vide a writ of Summons and statement of claim dated January 26, 2023.”
In a 40-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Alhaji R. Balogun and Thaddeus Idenyi in support of the motion, the claimants stated that the suit was the subject matter of the property situated at Fesac Town, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State, which is more particularly described on the Survey Plan No. KESII/L/)106 dated October 4, 1980.
The claimants stated that during the pendency of the suit, the defendants entered into the land and marked all the buildings for demolition based on alleged violation of the town planning laws.
The residents averred that the defendant’s claim of ownership and the basis on which the alleged demolition notices were pasted is the subject matter of the suit.
The claimants said unless restrained, the defendants may carry out their threat to the detriment of the claimants and their privies. They urged the court to hear the application expeditiously during the ongoing long vacation.
The court granted the application on September 11.
Despite the order, the FHA this month, announced a plan to demolish 677 houses while 744 others will be partially demolished over infringement by a developer in Phase 2 of Festac Town.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, and youths in Lagos have urged the Lagos State government to compensate victims whose houses were demolished, saying the government must provide housing for the needy.