Owners of buildings marked for demolishing at Shasha area of Lagos can heave a sigh of relief–at least for now–as an Ikeja High Court, yesterday, restrained the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LSBCA, from carrying out planned demolition of some residential and church buildings located in Shasha Ologunfe/Boundary in Akowonjo area of the state.
The ruling of the court presided over by Justice Josephine Oyefeso was sequel to the writ of summons filed by landlords and residents of the area contesting the planned demolitions of their buildings to create space for market stalls.
The government through the LSBCA was said to have marked buildings situated in the area for construction of market stalls, owing to the arguments that the area was earlier earmarked for that purpose by the late Oba of Shasha, an argument that was debunked by the residents.
Joined in the suit was the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice and LSBCA.
The landlords had prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants whether by themselves, agents, servants or privies from demolishing the buildings, structures and from disturbing the claimants possession of the said land.
They also asked the court to declare that the land which “is the subject matter of the suit is the bonafide property of the claimants and free from any government acquisition.”
Arguing the motion, yesterday, the claimants, through their counsel, Chief Adekunle Funmilayo, told the court that officials of the Building Control Agency had been coming to the area to terrorise the landlords, threatening to demolish the property if they refused to vacate the land despite the fact that the case is pending in court.
But counsel to Lagos State, J. Kasali, a senior state counsel, informed the court that there was a communication break down between the landlords and the state, adding that the Building Control Agency will not embark on any action that will contravene the laws of the state.
In her short ruling, the judge ordered both parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit in court.
The matter was adjourned till September 25 for continuation of hearing.