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Otodo Gbame: Court Adjourns Case To May 25
The Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, has adjourned ruling in the suit filed by residents of Otodo-Gbame community against the Lagos State government.
Residents of the community had dragged the state government to court following the demolition of their homes on April 9.
The demolition of the rural waterfront settlement by agents of the Lagos government has drawn wide condemnation by local and international right groups.
However, on Tuesday, Justice Surajudeen Onigbangbo said he was postponing the ruling so as to attend to “issues of jurisdiction raised by the respondents.”
He adjourned the case to May 25, 2017 for final judgment.
“While I was going through the court processes, I discovered that issues of jurisdiction were raised,” he said.
“The applicant will have seven days to file their relevant court processes while the respondents also have seven days to file their court processes in response to the applicant.”
Justice Onigbande also frowned at a letter sent to him by Megan Chapman, an Otodo Gbame community advocate, details of which he didn’t make public.
It would be recalled the demolition of Otodo-Gbame community was against a court order handed down by the same Justice Onigbande, directing the state government to maintain status quo, as it would be cruel to demolish the area without making alternative arrangements for the residents. But the demolition went ahead nevertheless.
In defence of the action, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde, said the action was carried out in order to forestall an environmental disaster and another round of deadly brawls that led to the razing of the Otodo-Gbame community in November.
“Government would neither be stampeded nor blackmailed into abdicating its constitutional responsibilities to guard against a potential health and environmental hazard in the area by condoning what amounts to a breach of environmental and urban planning laws,” he said in a statement.