A lawyer, Mr Adetayo Bello has accused The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) on Wednesday of breaching a valid court order restraining it from demolishing 600 houses at 6th Avenue, Festac Town in Lagos State. The FHA has however denied it.
The FHA made the denial during proceedings in a case of alleged demolition of 600 buildings and partial demolition of 700 buildings in spite of a court order.
The case is before Justice Akintunde Savage of an Ikeja high court.
Counsel to the claimants, Mr Adetayo Bello, had told the court that he obtained the restraining order, but counsel to the FHA, Mr Chris Ekemezie, denied knowledge of the order, arguing that the agency did not breach any court order.
The claimants/applicants are Mr Samuel Ahmed, Martinson Realtors Investment Ltd., Alhaja Taoheed Amusa and Alhaja R. A. Balogun.
“We are a law-abiding government agency, and we did not defy any court order,” Ekemezie said.
He told the court that the counsel to the claimants did not serve the agency the court process.
Bello, thereafter, sought extension of the court order.
The judge, however, questioned the validity of the request.
Savage ruled that, given that the claimants’ counsel had alleged breach of the order, the prayer would not be granted.
The judge adjourned the matter until Feb. 20 to consider the concerns of all parties involved.
In September 2023, the claimants/applicants sought an ex-parte order to stop FHA from the Festac demolition.
They filed a motion ex-parte with suit No. ID/7396GCM/2023 and dated Sept. 7, 2023.
The application was brought before Justice O. J. Awope of an Ikeja High Court who was a vacation judge at the time – Sept. 11, 2023.
The application was supported by a 40-page affidavit deposed to by the fourth claimant, Balogun, and one Mr Thaddeus Idenyi.
BRANDPOWER reports that a Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja, also in November restrained the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, and Lagos State Building Control Agency, LSBCA, from further demolition of residential houses in 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The trial judge, Justice Omolade Awope, had granted the order, 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.