Court restrains govt from demolishing Epe family’s homes

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A Lagos High Court sitting at Epe yesterday granted an interim order restraining the Lagos State Government and its agencies from demolishing the houses and properties of Edu Family descendants at Lekki-Epe Express Road, Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The properties and land, as stated in the claimants’ statement of claim, are those covered by the Agricultural Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 1 Page. 1 in Volume 1993 and dated 26th July 1993 issued and allocated by Lagos State Government described as “Agricultural Land VERGED RED as Plots A – O in Survey Plan No. LS/D/EP114 being at Origin: -U.T.M (ZONE 31) signed by A. B. Apatira II (Licensed Surveyor) dated 29” day of May 1991.

Justice S. A. Olaitan made the interim order sequel to an application by the family and after hearing the Lagos State Government.

The six claimants in the suit marked EPD/11336LMW/22 are Pa. Lamoriyu Edu, Alhaji Olayiwola Kaka, Mr Ganiyu Edu, Nosiru Edu, Olayinka Edu and Lamidi Edu, for themselves and on behalf of the Edu family.

The nine defendants are Governor of Lagos State, Attorney-General of Lagos State, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr Lola Akande (The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

Others are Lagos State Land Bureau, Surveyor-General of Lagos State, Registered Trustees of Lekki-Epe International Airport Land Owner Association, Oba Animashaun Kamaldeen (Oloja of Epe) and  Oba Ganiyu Awokoya.

The claimants are seeking, among others, a declaration that they are the customary owners of the aforementioned large expanse of land, “being the first settlers and have long been exercising possessory and ownership rights on and over the said land from the time immemorial without any disturbance, hindrance or claim from any adverse Party.”

The defendants are yet to file a response.

At the commencement of proceedings yesterday, some of the affected residents besieged the court to protest against the alleged demolition of their homes by the Lagos State Government and its agencies.

Calming the crowd, the judge urged them to be patient and assured them of justice for all.

After taking arguments from counsel, the judge ruled: “I hereby order that the status quo as of today the 3rd day of February 2022 should be maintained. The defendants shall not take further steps to demolish the houses and properties of the claimants.

“Case is adjourned to April 4, 2022, for hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”

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