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Court gives Lagos government seven days ultimatum to obey restraining order

By Joseph Onyekwere
08 November 2021   |   3:33 am
Justice Daniel E Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has given Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and the state Special Task Force seven days ultimatum...

Federal High Court, Lagos

Justice Daniel E Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has given Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and the state Special Task Force seven days ultimatumniel E Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has given Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and the state Special Task Force seven days ultimatum to comply with a restraining order issued by the court in the case filed by Admiralty Fleet Limited.

The judge also condemned disregard for the order he made on October 18, 2021, warning that such conduct erodes confidence in the system and failure to check it will breed anarchy.

Justice Osiagor stated this on Friday in suit No. FHC/L/CS/1384/21 filed by Admiralty Fleet Limited (BICS Garden), and Admiral Festus Porbeni (rtd) against the state attorney-general, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Chairman, Lagos State Special Task Force.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, Adebayo Haroun, counsel to first and third defendants, informed the court that the attorney-general had written a petition to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court complaining that they had no confidence in the judge.

But counsel to the claimants, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), Abiodun Olatunji (SAN) and counsel to NIWA (second defendants), Adejare Kembi, told the court that they were surprised at the turn of events and complained that the attorney-general did not deem it fit to effect service of the said petition on them.

Justice Osiagor then requested a copy of the petition, as he had also not been served a copy. After a perusal of the petition, the judge expressed his intention to await the administrative outcome of the petition but insisted that in the meantime, his order of October 18, 2021 must be fully obeyed until set aside, adding that the integrity of the judiciary must be protected.

The judge also issued a seven days ultimatum to the defendants to comply with the order and vacate the premises or the court may be forced to issue a further order removing any person from the disputed property.

The court noted that the defendants had been duly served with the contempt proceedings and that they had had enough time to comply with the court order.

Haroun said he would investigate to see if his clients were on the property. Consequently, the judge adjourned the matter till November 12, 2021 for report of compliance, while he awaits the administrative decision of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.