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Appeal Court orders reassignment of case file on Badagry demolition




The Court of Appeal Lagos, has directed that the case file of alleged unlawful demolition of over 1500 buildings in Atinporome, Araromi Ale Extension and Mowo Phase 2 communities, should be returned to the Lagos State Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge.
The court also held that the trial judge erred to have dismissed the suit without addressing the main issues.
Justice Sidi Bage-led appellate panel gave the directive after setting aside the ruling of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Badagry which had declined to hear the case.

The displaced residents claimed that their communities were wrongfully invaded and demolished on December16, 2013 by agents of Lagos State Government and are asking for the sum of N100 billion as compensation.
They also wanted a pronouncement that the action of the respondents amounted to a breach of their fundamental human rights as protected by Section 33, 34 and 36 of the constitution.

The displaced residents, led by Chief Charles Adu and Twenty-two others and on behalf of the communities in their suit marked BD/EDAMFH/2014 before a Lagos High Court in Badagry, sued the Lagos State Government, Lagos Task Force on Environment and Special Offences Unit, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Lagos State and Commander, Area k Police Command, Lagos.
Other respondents in the suit are: Attorney General of Lagos State and Attorney General of Federation, Ministry of Police Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State land Bureau.
Justice Y A. Adesanya, had on July 10, 2014, struck out the appellants’ suit after deciding that it fell outside the scope of a fundamental human rights enforcement action.

The lower court judge also held that, the suit centered around ownership of title to property and not a breach of the applicants’ fundamental human rights.
However, the residents appealed against the decision of Justice Adesanya, which struck out their fundamental human rights enforcement suit for lack of jurisdiction.

They also in their notice of appeal asked the court to decide their case on its merit or return the file to the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, for reassignment to a new jugde for fresh trial.
The plaintiff in their affidavit, stated that on December 14, 2013, they received a letter from the police that they should vacate there houses and land.

And that the letter specifically mentioned Agemowo and Agelado Mowo, while their own land and community was at Atiporome, Araromi extention and Mowo Phase 2.

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