Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

Court Bars Nigeria Government From Evicting African Union 

Court Bars Nigeria Government From Evicting African Union 

Alleged moves by the Nigeria government to evict officials of African Union from their apartments has hit the brick wall, as a Lagos State High Court at the Tafawa Balewa Square, has restrained the Federal Government of Nigeria, its representatives from further threatening to evict or evicting the African Union from seven properties at Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi granted an interim injunction also prohibiting the government or its agents from taking over, entering into or seizing the properties.

The properties are 3 Macpherson Avenue, 5A Ikoya Avenue, 5B Ikoya Avenue, 24 Mekuwen Street, 20 Gerard Road, 2A Kuramo Close and 2B Kuramo Close.

The judge ruled that the “Federal Government” included the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property.

The African Union is the sole claimant/applicant in the suit marked LD/S591GCM/2022.

The AGF and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property are the first and second defendants.

The judge’s order followed an ex-parte application by the African Union through its counsel Mofesomo Tayo-Oyetibo of Tayo Oyetibo LP, arguing that those properties enjoy immunity and the actions of the Federal Government threaten that immunity.

The claimant asserted via its originating summons that under several Deeds of Indenture relating to the properties, it is entitled to quiet enjoyment and exclusive possession of the seven properties.

It averred that it had to approach the court because the second defendant has been trying to evict it from the properties, despite them being in its possession because the Federal Government had leased the properties to other persons.

It prayed the court to make an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants pending the determination of the notice of motion for interlocutory injunction.

In a ruling today, Justice Ogunjobi granted AU’s four reliefs.

It also restrained the government from interfering with the claimant’s occupation and use of the properties whether by an executive, administrative, juridical or legislative action.

The suit was adjourned till April 8, 2022, for a report of service.