Judge’s absence stalls Oritsejafor’s suit against Lagos
Hearing in the suit filed by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and his Church, World of Life Bible Church before a Lagos High Court (TBS) has been stalled due to Judge’s absence occasioned by fuel scarcity.
According to the registrar of the court, the trial judge was absent due to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and as a result, could not come to court last Thursday. The matter is now adjourned to May 16.
Oritsejafor had sued to declare that the demolition of the church property in Victoria Island, Lagos by the agents of the state government is unlawful.
The cleric, suing under the incorporated trustees of Word of Life Bible Church is asking the court to declare that the sealing of its property since April 2014 is wrong, illegal and unlawful.
Respondents in the suit are Governor of Lagos State, Attorney General of Lagos State, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation.
At the last sitting, the matter was adjourned to April 6, 2016 for case management conference by the trial judge, Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of the Lagos State High Court.
During the sitting, Mr. Bankole Kayode announced appearance for the plaintiff while Lagos was not represented.
According to amended statement of claim, the claimant said sometime in 2003, it acquired interest and title in the land situate and being at Plot 21E, Abdulrahman Okene Close, Off Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island Annex, Lagos.
It stated that the property had certificate of occupancy from Hajiya Aisha Mata Abdulraham dated November 23, 1991, that she had her mortgage dated September 27, 1994 with defunct Habib Nigeria Bank Limited foreclosed and the property was sold to the claimant by the bank through a Deed of Assignment.
“The claimant took immediate and undisturbed possession of the land and it has an uncompleted building thereat, without any let or disturbance from the defendant and then applied to the defendants and secured an approval for a change of use of the land from residential to institutional (place of worship), vide letter dated September 7, 2004.
“The claimants application for building plan approval was received, processed and assessed for payment of various sums of money, which the claimant promptly paid,” it claimed.
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