A Lagos High Court, Igbosere, has fixed March 19 for ruling on a preliminary objection to a contempt charge brought against Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo by four chieftaincy clans of Offiran and Aiyeteju villages in Lagos-Epe Expressway.
The applicants who are defendants in a land matter instituted by the cleric’s firm, Meridian Properties Limited, had applied for form 49 (contempt proceedings) against Ashimolowo and one Adedeji Obisanya on grounds that they flaunted a status quo order issued by the court on July 3 last year.
Ashimolowo’s firm had dragged one Captain GOC Ugoh and 10 others to court for encroaching on his 26.486 hectares of land situated at Offiran village, which was acquired in phases by the company from various land owning families in the village in 2003.
Other defendants in the suit are – Chief Ganiyu Raji, Adio Shittu, Olusegun Busari, Ganiyu Tijani, Sule Kafaru, Lasisi Olooto, Muyideen Tijani as well as Omodele Oyafunke, Theophilus Oyafunke and Taiwo Oyafunke.
The claimant alleged that in February 2013 when work started on the land, the defendant drove away its workmen; consequently, the claimant petitioned the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the activities of the defendant.
It stated that the defendants chased its labourers from the construction site and destroyed its properties, just as it claimed N100 million as specific and general damages.
But in September 2013, the defendants urged the court to commit Ashimolowo and Obisanya to prison following the firm’s disobedience and continuous development of the property in dispute despite the court order of July 3.
They argued that the company has continuously disobeyed the court order by constructing and erecting entrance gate and other structures on the said land.
The defendants averred that despite the service of contempt form on Ashimolowo as a director of the company, the firm continued with its construction in disregard to the court order, which said parties should avoid the use of self help.
Source: The Nation