Court Restrains IGP, Others From Arresting Property Developers 

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Kemisola Oye

JUSTICE Abimbola Awogboro of a Federal High Court, Lagos has restrained the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and other security agencies in the country from arresting a Lagos realtor, Saheed Abdullahi Mosadoluwa and Alhaji Suleiman Salaudeen, pending the hearing and determination of their fundamental right enforcement suit filed before the court.

Aside from IGP, other respondents restrained by the court include the Deputy Inspector-General Of Police (DIG) Force Intelligence Bureau; ASP Ben of Special Tactical Squad; Commissioner Of Police, Lagos State; CSP Shola Jejeloye, Chairman of Lagos State’s Task Force; Director Of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army; Kazeem Salami (a.k.a) All Rounder Ajagungbale; Mrs Esther Etsabomehen; Mr Micheal Etsabomhen;  Michael Utomi and Babatunde Gbadamosi (BOG).

In the suit filed by the developers and their company, Harmony Gardens Estate, the court restrained the respondents from carrying out any demolition, forcible entry or construction on the applicants’ property, or taking any other untoward action against them in connection with the facts of their case pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

Justice Awogboro made the interim orders after the lawyer to the developers moved an ex parte motion which was supported with a 36-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa and a written address.

The lawyer had told the court that the ex parte motion was pursuant to sections 33, 34, 35, 36, 41 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Order IV Rules 3, 4 and 11 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009.

He also filled an affidavit of urgency, a written address to his application as well as exhibits attached to it.

The plaintiff’s counsel specifically prayed the court for “an interim order restraining the respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, officers and/or howsoever called from further arresting, detaining, investigating, inviting, intimidating, threatening, incarcerating, harassing, charging, or taking any untoward action against the applicants in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion. 

“An interim order restraining the respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, howsoever called from carrying out any demolition, forcible entry or construction on the property of the applicants pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.”

The lawyer also undertakes to pay damages if the court discovers that the application ought not be granted.

The judge, while adjourning to 18 March 2024 for hearing of the substantive suit, ordered that the hearing notice be issued and served on all the respondents. The court also held that the interim order subsists till the determination of the applicants’ suit.

Justice Awogboro also ordered respondents to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the suit.

The applicants in their affidavit deposed to by Mosadoluwa stated that “the first applicant is not a land grabber as insinuated but the Managing Director and the bonafide owner of (Harmony Garden and Estate Development Limited) of over 80 percent of the land lying, situate and being at Bolorunpelu Onigbedu Village. 

“That to my knowledge and from due diligence conducted before purchasing the property now in contention, | confirmed that the Zakariyau Agidi-Ogun Family of Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Village are the original and customary owners of all that vast land delineated and described in the registered survey plan as Area A covered by Excision Survey Plan No: LS/D/LA3097 with Certificate of Occupancy No: 78/78/2015H covering 35.728 hectares lying, situate and being at Bolorunpelu Onigbedu Village, Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State signed by Omotanmi Emmanuel P.T.O  (surveys) on the 24 July 2012, duly counter-signed by the then Government Surveyor General 0. A. Sangowawa dated 17 September 2012 and signed by Joseph O. Agbenta (the then Acting Surveyor General Lagos State) on 20 September 2012.

“That before acquiring the said land, the first applicant and some agents of his company, Harmony Gardens and Estate Development Limited did due diligence in respect of the said land whereupon they got confirmation that the progenitors of the Onigbedu Village in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State is Late SAKARIYAU Agidiogun who deforested the subject matter of the land which is the subject matter of this suit in its pristine vegetation and who accordingly exercised various ownership and possessory rights over same without any interruption from anybody. 

“That upon further enquiry, they got to know that the Zakariyau Agidi-Ogun Family of Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Village comprise five branches to wit: Abadatu Daramola; Mudirakat Daramola; Abudu Daramola; Safiriyu Daramola and Yakubu Daramola who are the beneficial and customary owners of the vast land and have from time immemorial exercised numerous ownership and possessory rights over the said land. As a matter of fact, in the exercise of ownership and possessory right over the said land, they sold some potions of the said land to third parties including the applicant’s said company wherein various instruments such as Deed of Assignments were duly executed with documentary evidence to that effect. 

“As a real estate company, the first applicant on behalf of his said company did not just purchase customary land from the Zakariyau Agidi-Ogun family of Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Village but started purchasing the land from the villagers based on the Government excision and Certificate of Occupancy granted to the community by the Lagos State Government which finally became a statutory title to late Muyideen Daramola and Falilu on behalf of the entire Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Villagers and base on sharing of the land and their families benefit, at each materials time, some of the beneficiaries sold to the Applicant’s company Harmony Gardens & Estate Development Limited.

“That if this application is not heard, there is the likelihood that the applicants right to own immovable property will be infringed upon without any court order. 

“That the respondents should be restrained from harassing, Intimidating, arresting and detaining the applicants at the instance of the respondents or any matter connected thereto. 

“That the applicants have not committed any offence known to law to warrant the brazen infringement of their fundamental rights to life, personal liberty and freedom of movement by the respondents without any cause or reason. 

“That it is in the interest of justice to grant this application. And that the respondents will not be prejudiced in any way if this application is granted.”

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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