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Judge declines application to recuse self from Alma Beach Estate suit

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Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court, Lagos, has declined an application asking him to excuse himself from the suit involving Beach Estate, a highbrow estate in Lekki Peninsula, Lagos.

The judge struck out the application filed by counsel to respondents in suit FHC/L/CS/1059/18 for being frivolous and unsigned.

Liman also recommended that the names of the lawyers be referred to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for disciplinary action for filing such application.

The respondents, which included Nicon Trustees Limited, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Abah Onah, had filed an application seeking to discharge the order of court granted the allottees of the estate on October 29, 2019.

The interim order restrained the respondents from taking possession of the estate or offering it for sale.

They were also restrained by themselves or by their agents, privies, servants, assigns and any third party whomsoever from acting through or under its authority from using the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police Force to take possession of, offer for sale, act in any manner howsoever, which are capable of interfering with the proprietary and possessory interest of Alma Beach Estates Limited in respect of the estate situate at Lekki Peninsula and covered by Power of Attorney registered as No. 70 at Page 70 in Volume 1911, Lagos State, pending the determination of the motion on notice, among others.

But the defendants have filed application seeking to discharge the order.

However, at the hearing of the application on November 14, 2019, new set of counsel representing the defendants declined to move their application on the ground that they were not conversant with it.

They rather preferred to move the unsigned application seeking to recuse the judge from the suit.

Angered by this development, the judge ordered the plaintiffs to move their motion urging the court to compel the respondents to vacate their property as well as to restore them to the property.

They argued that the respondents had been in contempt of the order of the court, as they had not vacated the property weeks after the said order was made.

After taking their submission, the court adjourned till November 28, 2019, for ruling on the application.

In the suit, the allottees have alleged the continuous violation of an order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the police and Nicon Trustees Limited.

The allottees, through their lawyer, Chief Nestor Okwarauba, alleged repeated invasion, occupation, intimidation and destruction of property at the estate by armed policemen and thugs allegedly recruited by Nicon Trustees Limited, which they said, was in complete violation of an order of the court.


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