Court declines extension of order restraining Edo govt. from demolishing hotel

Court declines extension of order restraining Edo govt. from demolishing hotel

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 10:14 pm

By Jethro Ibileke

Justice D. I. Okungbowa of a Benin High Court has refused to grant the prayer of Mr. Tony Adun (aka Kabaka), seeking an extension of the initial 14-day restraining order which temporarily stopped Edo state government from demolishing his hotel.

Justice Okungbowa refused the prayer of the claimant on the basis of the counter argument of the Edo State Solicitor-General, Oluwole Iyamu (SAN), who argued that the order cannot be extended beyond the 14 days lifespan.

The state government had on 9th October, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, issued a seven-day notice to Tony Adun to remove his T. Latifah Hotel and Suites, located at the Ugbor axis of the state capital.

He however approached the Court, seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the Commissioner, the Governor, Attorney-General and Edo State Government from demolishing, removing, pulling down or altering the building.

The application was granted and the court fixed 30th October, 2019 as a return date.

In his interlocutory application, counsel to Adun, Barr. Osa-Uwagie, argued that the State Government did not declare the area, Ugbor, as a planning area and did not gazette it according to the Town and Country Planning Law of Bendel State 1979, CAP 165, section 6.

He also claimed that the State Governor was witch-hunting his client as a result of their political differences.

The state government, through the Solicitor-General, Oluwole Iyamu (SAN), however, argued that “the deed of transfer attached to the motion by Mr. Adun and his lawyer was not registered with the state government and that he doesn’t have an approved building plan for the hotel building.

He said that it would be in the best interest of justice for the motion for injunction to be dismissed, adding that Governor Obaseki does not have any sort of political differences with the claimant as alleged.

“The entire Edo State is a Planning Area as declared and gazetted by the former governor Comr. Adams Oshiomhole, with Gazette No 22, published 27th May, 2010. Hence, the entire Benin City is a planning area, which affirms that the hotel is an illegal structure,” he said.

Delivering ruling on the application, Jutice Okungbowa said, “it is tidier for both parties to return to court on the 14th day to argue the motion for interlocutory injunction.”

He thereafter adjourned the case to 5th November, 2019, to hear further arguments on the motion for interlocutory injunction.

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