Court restrains church, parties in N980 million land suit
A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere yesterday reaffirmed its earlier order asking parties, including Pastor Paul Adefarasin and his church, House on the Rock, Incorporated Trustees of the Rock Foundation, the Registrar of Titles, Lagos State Land Registry and the state Attorney General to maintain the status quo in a N980 million land suit filed by a businessman, Gerald Chukwueke on behalf of himself and other claimants.
The other plaintiffs in the suit where N800 million is being sought as damages and another N180 million as solicitor fee against the church for allegedly trespassing on their land in the Lekki axis of the state include Chinelo Chukwueke, Mrs. Martha Chukwueke and Germaine Logistics Limited & Germaine Auto Centre Limited.
Justice Adebisi Akinlade, had on March 17, 2016 restrained the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from demolishing or removing any structure whatsoever be temporary or permanent on the contentious plots 15, 16, 17 and 18 located at 188 Ikate, Lekki, Lagos pending hearing of the plaintiffs’ interlocutory application.
The court had also barred the defendants and their cronies from commencing any development, construction, building or erecting any structure whether temporary or permanent in any manner whatsoever on the land.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the claimants, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN) told the court that she had served processes on the defendants, adding that they had equally filed a counter-affidavit to the motion on notice and an application to strike out the name of the first defendant, which she also confirmed that her clients had responded to.
However, counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Gabriel Uduafi agreed with the position of the claimants’ counsel but promised to file the statement of defence before the expiration of the 42 days allowed by law.
Onigbanjo also prayed the court to renew her earlier restraining order by directing parties to maintain status quo, a prayer that was countered by Uduafi who argued that his clients had already taken possession of the land with a valid registered title.
But, Justice Akinlade overruled Uduafi, before reaffirming the order.
The judge, subsequently, adjourned the suit to June 2, 2016 for mention.
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