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Estate Demolition: Executive Lawlessness and Disdain For Judicial Process By Agents Of Ondo State Government —Lawyer


In what clearly represents a new dimension of executive lawlessness and disdain for judicial process in Ondo State, at about 7am on Tuesday 21st May, 2024, the Ondo State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Akinwumi Sowore, ordered and superintended the demolition of massive units of houses in the popular Federal Government-owned Medaville Estate at Alagbaka GRA, Akure. A conservative assessment of the demolished properties is far above Three Hundred Million Naira (N300,000,000).

Medaville Housing Estate is being developed by Medaville Building Construction Limited (our client) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Under the agreement, the Federal Government released the land to our client, who, in turn sourced for funds to build the housing units, as part of the policy of the Federal Government to ameliorate the housing deficit faced by Nigerians.

Medaville Building Construction Limited had been on the land since 2009, and some of the buildings demolished by the agents of Ondo State Government led by Akinwumi Sowore, had been constructed up to lintel or roofing stage over three years ago.

The agents of the State Government perpetrated this incredible savagery and act of hooliganism, despite a pending Suit AK/201/2023: Medaville Building Construction Limited v. Ondo State Government and 3 others instituted at the State High Court since 26th June, 2023, seeking various declaratory and injunctive reliefs to stop the State Government and her privies, agents and servants howsoever called, from trespassing on the land, disturbing the Claimant’s (our client’s) possession or development of the land in any form, and/or demolishing any of the Housing Units constructed thereon by the Claimant. The Attorney-General of Ondo State is the 4th Defendant in the Suit, which was/is still pending when the agents of the Government stormed Medaville Estate and destroyed such massive investment, at a time when the Federal and many state Governments are busy working out palliatives to support private corporations to stay afloat because of the excruciating economic climate in the nation.

In addition, our client filed a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction on 9th May, 2024, to restrain the same Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development and other agents or officials of the State Government from demolishing any housing units in the Estate, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Suit. The motion was filed after the officials of the Ministry invaded our client’s estate on 6th May, 2024 and pasted a three-day demolition notice on many of the housing units, despite the fact that those housing units had been constructed many years back on the disputed land. That motion is still pending in Court and had been duly served on the Attorney-General’s office as Counsel for the Defendants before the demolition.

Furthermore, we equally wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice and copied the same Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development on 9th May, 2024, complaining of the acts of executive lawlessness and disdain for judicial process being exhibited by the agents of the State Government in Medaville Estate, despite the pending court case.

Instructively, these unprecedented acts of executive recklessness, savagery and disdain for judicial process were carried out by a Government having a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as her Attorney-General and a party to the pending court case on the same subject matter.

Worse still, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development who coordinated the monumental destruction in Medaville Estate (Akinwumi Sowore) is also a Lawyer.

Clearly, therefore, we are witnessing a new dimension of executive rascality and disrespect for the rule of law and sanctity of judicial process in Ondo State.
For the avoidance of doubt, however, we would hold this Government and her agents responsible and accountable for this barbaric and savage act of impunity.
In this regard, and in addition to other legal steps we have been fully briefed to take to seek justice for our client, we have commenced legal steps necessary to commit and jail the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kayode Ajulo SAN, and his counterpart in the State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Barr. Akinwumi Sowore, for contempt of court, and we shall pursue this to a logical conclusion, God willing, in order to protect the integrity and sanctity of the Court.

Femi Emmanuel Emodamori,
For: Femi Emmanuel Emodamori & Co
(Attorneys to Medaville Building Construction Limited)
23rd May, 2024.

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