A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has issued a restraining order against the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA), preventing them from further demolishing residential houses in 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The order, granted by Justice Omolade Awope, comes in response to a suit filed by Samuel Ahmed, Martinson Realtors Investment Limited, Taoheed Amusa, and R. Balogun. The claimants sought a pre-emptive injunction against FHA and LSBCA, who have already demolished over 600 houses and partially demolished about 700 others on 6th Avenue in Festac Town.
The court’s pre-emptive injunction restrains the FHA from demolishing or removing any building in 6th Avenue, Festac Town, or any other part of Festac Town. This injunction will remain in effect until the applicants comply with the Lagos State High Court Practice Directions No. 2 of 2019 on Pre-action Protocol.
The motion exparte by the claimants outlined ten grounds for seeking the order, including the initiation of the suit under the order of the Supreme Court in Appeal No: 8C.931/2007. The affidavit supporting the motion, deposed to by Alhaji R. Balogun and Thaddeus Idenyi, highlighted the disregard for the court’s process by the defendants, who marked buildings for demolition during the pendency of the suit.
In response to the demolitions, youth leaders, including Mr. Opeyemi Ogunlami of the Oworonshoki Youth Forum, have called on the Lagos State government to compensate victims. Ogunlami emphasized the importance of providing housing for those displaced, stating, “You cannot displace people who have been living in a place like Oworonshoki for 40 years without any compensation. We do not have power or military backup, but in the community, we have voices pushing for something.”
The court’s intervention marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing dispute, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach between urban development and safeguarding the rights of residents.