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Surveyors sue Lagos govt, others over breaches of SURCON Act

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Members of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) have sued the Lagos State Surveyor-General, Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON) and Lagos State Attorney- General at the Federal High Court, Lagos over alleged breaches of the constitution and SURCON Act.

This followed recent appointment of seven surveyors by the Surveyor-General as the only surveyors to carry out surveys in the Mende Revocation Area in Maryland, Lagos State.

In the originating summons dated December 10, 2020, the applicants: Adaranijo Ganiyu Rafiu, Mrs. Aluko Kikelomo Sikirat, Adedeji Olanrewaju, Adams Benjamin Olugbenga, Mekuleyi Samuel, Aliu Samuel and Fashina Adedapo argued that surveys being done over the years, especially in Lagos State, were inconsistent with the country’s constitution.

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They maintained that the defendants also contravene the SURCON Act, as well as SURCON’s guidelines and regulations on surveying practice in the country.

Besides the Lagos Surveyor-General and Attorney-General, the suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1789/2020, also has the Attorney–General of the Federation (AGF), the seven appointed surveyors: Olatunbosun David, Adesina Adeleke, Odetunmobi Olufemi, Egbeyemi Latif, Akomolafe A., Mrs. Akintaro. O. O. and Michael Alonge, as defendants.

The plaintiffs, who sue on behalf of themselves and other surveyors in Lagos State, submitted that the engagement of third to ninth defendants as the only surveyors in Lagos that carry out surveys in the Mende Revocation Area in Maryland, was a violation of section 19(1) of the SURCON Act, which guaranteed the right of the plaintiffs and other registered surveyor to practice anywhere in Nigeria.

Subsequently, they want the court to set aside the appointment of the surveyors listed as third to ninth defendants in the suit and restrain the defendants from perpetually acting on that basis.

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They are also seeking judicial interpretation of the Federal and Lagos State Statutes and Laws, as they affect the validity or otherwise of surveying in the state.

In the originating summons supported by a 37-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Rafiu, the first plaintiff and accompanied by 15 exhibits, they prayed the court to determine whether having regard to Section 4 (4) and paragraph 25 and 26, part 11 of the second schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Also citing Sections 1 and 4 of the SURCON Act 2004, they prayed the court to determine whether SURCON, being the second defendant had powers to issue guidelines for survey practice in Nigeria 2020 in exercise of its powers to regulate and control survey practice in the country, among other prayers.

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