Businessman files committal action against church
A Lagos based businessman, Gerald Chukwueke and four others have urged the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal to commit to prison, a popular Lagos Pastor, Paul Adefarasin and his church, House on the Rock for allegedly disobeying a court order restraining them from further trespassing on a land located in the Lekki area of the state.
Justice Adebisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere had on April 7, 2016 after listening to counsel for the parties ordered that status quo be maintained by the parties pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
Specifically, Justice Akinlade had earlier on March 17, 2016 granted an interim order of injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from demolishing or removing any structure whatsoever on the claimants premises located at plots 15, 16, 17 and 18 located at 188 Ikate, Lekki, Lagos.
Other claimants in the suit are Chinelo Chukwueke, Mrs. Martha Chukwueke, Germaine Logistics Limited and Germaine Auto Centre Limited.In a Motion on Notice filed on their behalf by Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), before the appellate court, the plaintiffs alleged that Pastor Adefarasin and his church breached the lower court’s order.
The claimants averred in an affidavit attached to the motion that after the order of the lower court, the defendants filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection praying the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, adding that after Justice Akinlade heard arguments for and against the preliminary objection, he dismissed it on February 15, 2017.
Dissatisfied with the dismissal of their Notice of Preliminary Objection, Pastor Adefarasin and his church appealed the ruling and transmitted the Record of Appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The lower Court on realizing that the record of appeal had been transmitted declined further jurisdiction to hear the matter pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.
But the claimants alleged that, while the appeal was still pending, the defendants in disobedience to the order made by the High Court applied to the Lagos State Government and was granted Demolition Permit to demolish the structures on the disputed land.
They further claimed that the defendants did not disclose to the relevant department of the Lagos State Government that there was a pending suit in respect of the land and that the court had ordered all the parties, including the State, to maintain status quo as at March 18, 2016.