Chief judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf, has ordered the inspector general of police to stop a property company from further carrying out construction work at a building site located at No 713, Cadastral Zone B14, Dutse District, Abuja.
The property, an estate land has been a subject of litigation since 2018 between Uche Okoli, Multi-Shelter Nigeria Limited and 18 others against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Dr Ngozika Nwaneri.
Other defendants in the matter are Mr Henry Anuforo, Mr Kehinde Ogunleye, Cedacrest Hospital Limited, Dr Evelyn Ogedegbe and Mrs Bamson Ibifuro Funmilayo.
The court had in 2018 made an order restraining parties from building on the land pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
But the plaintiffs/claimant, in disobedience to the court order went further to carry out construction on the land.
Counsel to Dr Ngozika Nwaneri, the 2nd defendant in the matter, Barrister Lilian Ojimma, in an oral application to the court prayed for a fresh order restraining the plaintiffs from further carrying out construction work on the site.
Ojimma said, ‘’I want to bring certain developments to the attention of the court. This court in November 2018 granted an injunction against the claimant from erecting building on the land.
“They have gone ahead with construction work at the site in disobedience to the court order. The undertaking by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (counsel to the claimant) has not helped matters because they have continued building on the land.”
‘’The claimant has taken good advantage of the fact that the court has not been sitting regularly to continue with construction work.
‘’I will pray my lord to direct the inspector-general of police to stop further construction work on the site.
‘’We pray that the court should make an order directing the inspector-general of police to arrest anyone found building on the land.’’
Counsel to the claimant, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN, in his response expressed shock that the order of the court is being disobeyed. He said he had already advised his client to stop further construction on the site.
He said, ‘’I am surprised to hear that construction is still going on at the site. I know that after my undertaking, I waded in and told my client to tell the subscribers to halt construction.’’
The chief judge in a short ruling held that, ‘’The police are expected to enforce law and order. I have listened to the 2nd defendant and I’m of the view that the order of the court must not be allowed to be flouted with impunity.
‘’The inspector-general of police is hereby directed to ensure the enforcement of this order. Anyone found constructing on the site should be arrested.’’
The claimant had approached the court in suit number FCT/HC/CV/1182/2018, seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant or any other person from disturbing his quiet enjoyment of No 713, Cadastral Zone B14, Dutse District, Abuja.
He also prayed the court for an order directing the EFCC to return to him, the certificate of occupancy of Mult-Shelter Limited deposited with the commission. The case has been adjourned till December 10, 2021.