Nigeria: Lekki Gardens Disregards Court Order, Resumes Construction At Osborne

25 July 2021

Tobi Soniyi

Foreshore Estate The management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited has flouted a court order, which restrained it from further constructing, developing, building or embarking on any similar exercise in Osborne Foreshore Estate 2, Ikoyi, Lagos.

In a letter signed by its Project Manager, Mr Kayode Dawodu, Lekki Gardens directed all contractors "to immediately resume work by Friday, July 23 at the Osborne Foreshore Estate 2.

In the letter dated July 22, the company apologised "for any inconvenience" caused them, saying, "However, we hope that we can fully mobilize to site to proceed at the same pace of work (or even better) than we had before the break."

Indeed, a visit to the Osborne Foreshore Estate 2 this morning, showed that construction work in the estate has resumed fully in line with the company's directive to contractors, thereby obstructing not only vehicular and human traffic, but also blocking entrance and exit gates with heavy earth moving construction trucks.

No explanation was given for disobeying the court order. In resuming construction work, the company is in contempt of a subsisting court order granted by Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The judge had restricted the two defendants from acting on any approvals granted by the 4th Defendant (the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The Osborne Foreshore Estate 2 Residents Association find it difficult to understand why Lekki Gardens Estate Limited would completely defy extant order granted by a competent court of the land, and also refuse to comply with building permit laws of the Lagos State government, which the association has insisted must be followed.

Indeed, Justice Oweibo had made the order following an application by the Registered Trustees of Osborne and Foreshore Residents Association through their counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.

The order was given after months of long dispute over allegations of violation of the estate's plans.

Pinheiro had argued, in the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/755/2021 that the defendant's actions were against the policy of the estate as a residential territory.

Consequently, the residents prayed the court to halt construction process on the properties situate at Block 11 Plot 2, Plot b7, Block 7, Plot 5, Block 6, Plot 17, Block 9, Plot 23, Block 9, Plot 17, Block 10, Plots 1A, 1B, 1C, Block 6, Plot 19, Block 6, Plot 12, Block 6, Plot 9A, Block 6, Plot 14, and Block 11, Plot 2.

Others are: Signature One on Royal Palm Drive, Signature Two, Le Chateau, Insignia and Foreshore Towers on Acacia Road within the Estate or any other property currently being developed by the Respondents all within Osborne Foreshore Estate 2.

The court found merit in the application upon reading the affidavit in support of the motion exparte for interim injunction and exhibits attached, sworn to by the Admin Manager of the Osborne Foreshore Phase v11, Mrs. Ifeoma Maduakor.

The defendants in the suit are National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, Foreshore Waters Limited and Lagos State Physical Planning permit Authority.

However, the defendants failed to appear before the court to defend their position on the last hearing and the judge adjourned till July 26, 2021, to appear before it and argue why the interim should not be made permanent.

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