The Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has issued an injunction against the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA), restraining them from demolishing residential houses in 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The presiding judge, Justice Omolade Awope, granted the order in response to a lawsuit filed by Samuel Ahmed, Martinson Realtors Investment Limited, Taoheed Amusa, and R. Balogun.
These parties sought a pre-emptive injunction to halt the ongoing demolitions carried out by FHA and LSBCA.
To date, over 600 houses have been demolished, and approximately 700 others have been partially demolished on 6th Avenue in Festac Town by the FHA and LSBCA.
The court’s pre-emptive injunction prohibits the FHA, acting directly or through its agents, from further demolishing or removing any building or property in 6th Avenue, Festac Town or any other part of Festac Town. This restriction is in place until the applicants comply with Lagos State High Court Practice Directions No. 2 of 2019 on Pre-action Protocol.
The court’s decision stems from a motion ex parte filed by the claimants, citing ten grounds for the order. Notably, the suit was initiated under the order of the Supreme Court in Appeal Ne: 8C.931/2007, delivered on March 8, 2022, and re-initiated via a writ of summons and statement of claim dated January 26, 2023.
In a 40-paragraph affidavit supporting the motion, the claimants, represented by Alhaji R. Balogun and Thaddeus Idenyi, asserted that the subject matter of the suit is a property situated at Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State, described in Survey Plan No. KESII/L/106 dated October 4, 1980.
The claimants further alleged that, during the lawsuit’s pendency, the defendant (FHA) disregarded the court process and marked all the buildings on the contested land for demolition, citing an alleged violation of planning laws.
Meanwhile, youth leaders are calling on the Lagos State government to compensate victims of the demolished houses, emphasizing the need for the government to provide housing for those affected.
Opeyemi Ogunlami, the leader of the Oworonshoki Youth Forum, emphasized the importance of compensating people who have resided in areas like Oworonshoki for decades, stating that the community voices are advocating for just compensation.