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Court Restrains FCTA, Others from Trespassing on Kpokpogri’s Property

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The FCT High Court sitting in Abuja, on the 7th of February, 2024, granted an interlocutory application in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2005/2022, between PRINCE JOSEPH KPOKPOGRI V. FCT MINISTER & 5 ORS, seeking to restrain the FCT Administration and the Federal Housing Authority from trespassing or further trespassing on the property of the Plaintiff, Prince Joseph Kpokpogiri, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. Hon. Justice C. O. Agbaza, in his ruling, resolved all the issues in favour of Mr. Kpokpogiri and against the Defendants ((1) HON. MINISTER FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, (2) FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ADMINISTRATION (FCTA), (3) FEDERAL CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (FCDA), (4) ABUJA METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY COUNCIL (AMMC), (5) FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY(FHA) and (6) ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION) holding that the Mr. Kpokpogiri has established a legal right to be protected by the court. The court therefore held that the Defendants are restrained from trespassing or further trespassing on Mr. Kpokpogiri’s property located at Plots 203 and 204, Apo Estate, Guzape, Abuja, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Sometime in May, 2022, the Defendants demolished Mr Kpokpogiri’s property located at Apo Estate, Guzape, Abuja, without any court order or reasonable ground(s). The property had been partially demolished prior to the law office of Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, being briefed. The Learned Silk immediately instituted an action on behalf of Mr Kpokpogiri at the FCT High Court. The court granted an interim order of injunction against the Defendants, restraining them from further demolishing and further trespassing on the property pending the determination of the motion on notice filed along with the Writ of Summons. The Defendants were duly served the order of interim injunction on the 8th of June, 2022, along with the Writ of Summons and the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

Upon being served the order of interim injunction, the FCT Administration, in a brazen display of impunity, rushed back to the property and leveled the partially demolished building to the ground and then proceeded to file a counter affidavit to the motion for interlocutory injunction, contending inter alia that the demolition having been completed, the court cannot grant an injunction restraining a completed act.

In a reply to the counter affidavit, Prof Ozekhome detailed the FCT Administration’s contumacious acts of further demolishing the property after they had been served with the interim order of injunction and contended that they cannot rely on their own wrong as a defence to the motion. The Learned Silk further contended that the acts sought to be restrained is not just the demolition, but also the act of trespass. Though the court cannot restrain a completed act, where the action is based on trespass to land which is a continuing act, the court can grant an injunction restraining the Defendants from further trespassing on the land. He cited the case of FARUK & ANOR v. MUNKAILA & ANOR (2021) LPELR-55731(CA), where the Court of Appeal, Per OBIETONBARA OWUPELE DANIEL-KALIO, JCA (Pp 16 – 17 Paras E – B) held thus:

“True, an interlocutory injunction is not available for an act that has been carried out. However, where there are further acts such as further acts of trespass, an interlocutory injunction is available to restrain such further acts. In IDEOZU & ORS VS OCHOMA & ORS (2006) LPELR-1419 (SC) the Supreme Court explained the nature of an interlocutory injunction as one being aimed at attacking or tackling a threatening, continuing or living adverse act or conduct on the part of the owner of the act or conduct. It is when the act or conduct is completed that the relief of interlocutory injunction is totally spent and recourse would then have to be made to a perpetual injunction for remedy.”

In the ruling delivered by Justice Agbaza, the court agreed with Prof. Ozekhome and disagreed with Y. Abubakar, Esq, Counsel for the 1st – 4th Defendants, holding that the Defendants cannot rely on their own acts of impunity in demolishing the property as a defence to the application for interlocutory injunction. The court condemned the FCT Administration for their contemptuous acts of further demolishing the property after being served the order of interim injunction. The court had strong words for the FCT Administration for their disregard for rule of law. The court further held that it was an action based on trespass to land in which an order of interlocutory injunction can be granted to restrain the Defendant from further acts of trespass. The court accordingly granted the application restraining the Defendants from trespassing on or further trespassing on Mr Kpokpogiri’s property.

By this development, the interim order of injunction earlier granted on the 7th of June, 2022 was further validated and extended by a grant of the application for interlocutory injunction, pending the determination of the substantive suit. The FCT Administration was therefore, by this ruling, ordered to stay away from the disputed property located at Plot 203 and 204, Apo Estate, Abuja, until the final determination of the suit.

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High Society Present As Rotimi Akeredolu’s Laid to Rest in Owo

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By Eric Elezuo

The ancient town of Owo, Ondo State on Friday was a beehive of activities as it played host to dignitaries and citizens from all walks of life who stormed the town to grace the final burial ceremony of the late former governor of the state, Alakunri Rotimi Akeredolu.

The funeral service held at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Anglican Church, Imola, Owo, Ondo State.

Akeredolu died on Wednesday December 27, 2023 during a protracted illness in German hospital.

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was among the dignitaries, who attended the funeral service at the church, and thereafter.

Other dignitaries whose presence were noted are the Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje among others.

Others were former governor of Ondo State, Segun Mimiko; governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, federal law makers among others.

The late former governor was interred at a burial ground in the town, at a brief ceremony that was strictly attended only by the immediate members of the Akeredolu family before a grand reception was held.

In his speech at the burial, the state Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was Akeredolu’s deputy, said his former boss always stood for good governance and the rule of law.

“You are all here because he stood for something: good governance and the rule of law. He means a lot to different people, and that is why he has been described in different words. He was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives on.

“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development and security, among others,” he said.

Photos: Koya Adegbite

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Osun Gov, Adeleke, Loses Brother-in-Law

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A brother-in-law of the governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Alhaji Tohir Aderemi Sanni, has died.

Alhaji Sanni is the husband of Governor Adeleke’s sister, Chief (Mrs.) Modupeola Adeleke Sanni.

Meanwhile, the Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has commiserated with the bereaved, Mrs Sanni over the loss of her husband.

In statement signed by the state party chairman, Hon. Sunday Bisi, the party  described the news of the death as extremely sad and shocking, adding that the late business mogul was too good to depart at this time.

The statement reads:

“Osun PDP is really in short of words over the loss of a loving father and friend of our great party, Alhaji Aderemi Sanni, whose carriage exuded love beyond borders. He was a friendly father, so accommodating to a fault!”

“Alhaji Sanni would not hold back words of advice to anyone, no matter the societal disparity in class or status. Baba lived like a friend to all. He was an embodiment of humility in greatness”

“While we continue to grasp with the reality of the demise of Alhaji Sanni, our thoughts are with his wife, Chief Mrs Modupeola Adeleke, the children and members of the immediate family the great icon left behind”

“May Almighty Allah repose his gentle soul and grant him jannatul firdaus.”

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Lagos Country Club Appeals to Members for Calm

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The Lagos Country Club has appealed to its members and well wishers to remain calm and exercise restraints in the face of the current developments at the Club.

The appeal is coming on the heels of the illegal moves by the Registered Trustees of the Club to suspend the Management Council and constitute an Interim Management Board.

The Management Council made the appeal in a Special Statement to members and staff urging them to go about their activities in the Club without fear.

The Statement assured them of their commitment to upholding the Constitution of the Club, resolving the issues as soon as possible, and providing a safe and enabling environment.

The Chairmen of eight out of the ten sections of the Club have rejected the Interim Management Board arrangement and called on well meaning members of the Club and elders to wade in and explore avenue for peaceful resolution and allow peace to reign.

Meanwhile, His Lordship, Hon Justice Lewis Allagoa of Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Lagos Judicial Division has granted an Interim Injunction restraining the Trustees of Lagos Country Club from dissolving the Management Council of the Lagos Country Club and constituting a Caretaker Committee howsoever called or described.

In line with the order of Court for the status quo to remain, the Management Council remains in charge of the day to day running of the Club.

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