The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Lagos State had stalled hearing on the suit between residents of Osborne Estate, Ikoyi and Lagos State government.
The suit marked: LD/4422/2020 and filed before the Lagos High Court, TBD division was earlier scheduled for trial last week.
It borders on recent development of commercial jetty for ferry services by the state government, which the defendants alleged was in total disregard of the estate’s master plan.
Counsel representing Osborne Estates Board of Trustee, Mr. Olayinka Olasewere and the claimant, Mr. Ola Bakare, as well as journalists, who were present in court as early as 8:ooam for the continuation of trial were shut out of the court without prior notice.
The state government had in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic directed all its workers from level 13 down to work from home.
The resultant effect was that the court was placed under lock and key till, when some of the staff came, as all offices of government agencies including courts, offer skeletal service.
The court staff later told all present that they could not give any adjournment date because they are not officially at work.
It will be recalled that Justice Toyin Oyekan-Abdulaahi had on Monday, December 21, 2020 granted an order in favour of Lagos State government following a motion exparte filed on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
The exparte order seeks to restrain any group of persons from preventing it from taking full control of a property at Osborne Foreshore Estate.
At the time of the suit, the said property located at plot 10, block 11, Royal park avenue, Osborne phase 11 foreshore, has been a subject of litigation at the Federal High court with suit number FHC/L/CS/1609/2014.
Defendants in the Suit filed by Lagos State government are the incorporated trustees of Osborne resident association, Sir Steve Omojafor, and Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa Uba.
But, Lagos State government had taken full rights of the property and commenced renovation, while the conversion is also at the advance stage despite the fact that the matter is still pending in court.
However, residents had alleged that the conversion of the property to commercial use against the master plan would constitute security risk to their lives and property.
They are praying the court to overrule the order because it will affect the serenity of the environment they have been enjoying if the court’s order is allowed.
In an affidavit sworn to by Dr. Olurinu Jose , on behalf of the Board of Trustee and the Executive of the defendant/applicant, they stated that they had sometimes in October 2014 commenced an action against the claimant before a Federal High Court in when they got to know that the subject matter was being use for commercial purposes.
They are challenging the action of the claimants in using the land allocated to it within the Osborne Foreshore estate for a purpose other than what was in the interest and wellbeing of the residents of the Estate as stated in the master plan.
According to them, despite the fact that the master plan contained the delineation and allocation of parcel of land for residents purposes and reserved specific portions for recreational purposes to be used as green areas, it was however shocking that the specific portion of land is not being developed by the claimants for commercial jetty and for ferry services.
The residents further stated that the matter was pending before an Appellate court while the trial court granted an injunction pending appeal against the Claimant and other parties in the suit.
“It is in the interest of law and observance of the rule of law that we urged the court to strike out this suit as same is strange to our jurisprudence and offends the principles of the rule of law and multiplicity of actions” they contended.