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Court Bars Nigeria From Evicting African Union From Lagos Properties

Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi of the Lagos State High Court sitting the Tafawa Balewa Square has stopped the Federal Government of Nigeria or its representatives from further threatening to evict or evicting the African Union from seven properties located in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice Ogunjobi granted also an order of interim injunction restraining the government or its agents from taking over, entering into or seizing the properties.

The properties are 3 Macpherson Avenue, 5A Ikoya Avenue, 5B Ikoya Avenue, 24 Mekuwen Street, 20 Gerard Road, 2A Kuramo Close and 2B Kuramo Close.

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The judge further held that the “federal government” included the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property.

The African Union is the sole claimant/applicant in the suit marked LD/S591GCM/2022.

The AGF and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property are the first and second defendants.

The judge made the order after entertaining an ex-parte application by the African Union filed through its counsel, Mofesomo Tayo-Oyetibo, who arguing that the properties enjoy immunity and the actions of the Federal Government threaten that immunity.

The plaintiff maintained in its originating summons that under several Deeds of Indenture relating to the properties, it is entitled to quiet enjoyment and exclusive possession of the seven properties.

It averred that it had to approach the court because the second defendant has been trying to evict it from the properties – despite them being in its possession – because the Federal Government had leased the properties to other persons.

It prayed the court to make an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants pending the determination of the notice of motion for interlocutory injunction.

Justice also restrained the government from interfering with the claimant’s occupation and use of the properties whether by an executive, administrative, juridical or legislative action.

Justice Ogunjobi has adjourned the matter till April 8, 2022, for a report of service.

17th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph
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