Associated Property Development Company Ltd Mobday recovered possession of Foreshore Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos following last Thursday’s order of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The firm, as plaintiff/respondent in Suit FHC/L/CS/4767/2008 executed the order made by Justice Daniel Osiagor against six defendants/respondents who were in alleged unlawful occupation.
The Foreshore Towers premises comprised, among others, the high-rise and Pee Galleria Shopping Mall buildings.
The first to sixth defendants/respondents are the Federal Ministry of Communications and Technology, Otunba Olusola Adekanola, Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd, Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Implementation Committee on Alienation of Federal Government Property and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The judge made the order after hearing Abubakar Shamsudeen for the plaintiff/applicant, Dr. Roland Otaru (SAN) for the 2nd and 3rd Defendants with J. A. Oladapo, and I. Eigbe for the 4th and 5th defendants.
The plaintiff/applicant informed the court that the property had been unlawfully taken over by policemen, contrary to the court’s order.
Justice Osiagor held: “The court having heard the submission of all counsel with respect to the flagrant disobedience of its order to maintain status quo given on the 23rd of May, 2023.
“It is hereby ordered as follows: That the Inspector-General of Police and his subordinates should hereby vacate the premises immediately and revert possession to the earlier possessee — the Plaintiff.
“The Bureau of Public Enterprise and Otunba Olusola Adekanola are to within 7 days file in their court affidavit of facts signifying their withdrawal from the premises in complying with the court order and undertaking not to enter the premises during the pendency of this case.”
The judge adjourned till October 30, 2023 “for defence of the first and sixth defendants.”
Associated Property Development Company Ltd’s Human Resources/Admin Manager, Mrs. Joyce Ogala, who executed the order alongside court officials, noted that some of the property had been vandalised allegedly during the respondents’ occupation.
Ogala said: “This morning we had an execution of the court order following what happened on Friday. We have now repossessed the property from the illegal persons that occupied it, claiming they were from the BPE, the Federal Government, and all sorts of places. So we’ve taken possession back based on the court order.
“A lot of things have been damaged. Our automated sliding door was damaged, the spring is badly damaged that it cannot close on its own, it’s not working properly. A lot of water pipes have been broken, the generator house was tampered with, the lift house was tampered with, and our diesel tank as well.
“A lot of places that were padlocked, we’ve been able to open them and then the cameras that were sealed we’ve been able to unbind them, everything is fine.”
But the policemen who occupied the premises refused to leave saying they were under orders not to vacate until their commander confirmed that Justice Osiagor’s order was genuine.
The forceful take-over of the prime property by a detachment of police operatives came against the backdrop of a ruling by the court refusing an application by the BPE to join in the ownership tussle over the property.
However, latest information revealed that mobile policemen have reinforced to 7 in numbers the same ones that came previously in disobedience to court order