Court orders demolition of property constructed in defiance of court order

Court orders demolition of property constructed in defiance of court order

Friday, November 25, 2022 1:30 pm


Akin Kuponiyi
       A Lagos high court Judge, G.Oshoala has ordered immediate demolition of a building constructed by the defendants while the court has ordered that the parties involved in the suit filed before the court by one  Charles Nwadike should maintain the status quo.
     The plaintiff, Charles Nwadike, through his lawyer, Barrister Oluseyi Olukoga filed a suit before the court against the defendants Mrs Mary Oyedoyin Bandoh(nee Ashamu), Mrs Adesola Lokulo-Sodipe (Nee Ashamu) and Mrs Titi Ashamu who are administratrixes of the Estate of late Emmanuel Oyedele  Ashamu
        The suit is centred around controversy surrounding the ownership of a parcel of land
     In his ruling, the presiding Judge G.Oshoala said :
“It is on record that on the 24th of November, 2021 the Court made an Order that both parties in this suit must maintain the status quo and the property in issue shall remain in the stage and level it was. The status quo was to be maintained and the indication before the
The court was that the property in issue was on foundation level even though there was no picture of the stage of the property before the Court.
However, as of July, there was a fact before the Court that one of the parties in disobedience to the Order of the Court rushed the construction and roofing of the house. A picture to this effect was attached as an Exhibit before the Court.
  The Court then observed that in further disrespect to the Order of the court as of October the party further roofed the house. This is shown in the exhibited picture attached to an affidavit before the Court in line with the Court directive.        The level of impunity and disrespect to this Court is one that no Court of Justice should condone or allow. Courts of law are to protect their sanctity and honour by preventing any infringement or erosion of its sanctity and where an act is done in flagrant disobedience of its order, the such act must that order of Court must be undone within the inherent power.
   It is settled in law that the order of the Court must be obeyed until set aside and failure to do this must be sanctioned to protect the integrity of the court.
    I am convinced from the fact laid before me by both parties in form of affidavit evidence that the res in issue is not been preserved by parties as ordered and this court must ensure that the winning party at the end of the day still has something to hold on to rather than destroyed res.
     Both parties failed to answer responsibility for the wrong act and this Court is satisfied that it is one of the instances the Court must act immediately to preserve its authority. There is a legal and moral obligation to obey a Court order by parties who have submitted to the Jurisdiction of the Court
    A mandatory order for demolition which is proper order in this instance is what a Court grants during the pendency of a suit to restore things to the status quo if the adverse party had taken any step sought to be restrained and notwithstanding that the substantive claim will succeed or otherwise.
     After hearing Oluseyi Olukoga for the Claimant,
Olufemi Bisuga with A. Obafunsho for the 1st,2nd and 3rd defendants Olayinka Oyelade for the 4th & 5th Defendants and Shade Oketon O. holding the brief of R. B. Imoru appearing under protest.
    The Claimant Counsel Barrister Oluseyi Olukoga having urged the Court to enforce its order on parties to maintain the status quo and further urged the Court to enforce its mandatory sanction for failure of a party to comply with the subsisting order of the Court to maintain the status quo:
Accordingly, I hereby direct and order that the bungalow roofed and constructed while this matter was already before this Court and made in defiance and contrary to the order that parties maintain status quo shall be demolished.
All necessary agents of government required to carry out this demolition
 the order shall ensure the property is demolished to the ground level before the next adjourned date and a picture showing the execution of this order shall be before this court.
Counsel to both parties shall ensure that this order is carried out before the next adjourned date.

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