Judge orders arrest of Lagos council chairman

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BY ONOZURE DANIA

LAGOS — Justice Adenike Coker of an Ikeja High Court, had ordered that the Local Government Chairman of Ifako Ijaye Local Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Adeyemi Olabinjo be arrested, for demolishing a section of Irepolodun meat market, a state abattoir and  Lairage Complex at Abeokuta Road, Ojokoro, Lagos State.

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Justice Coker ordered that the bench warrant be issued with immediate effect and also detention of the third defendant who should be  brought to court at the next adjourned date of  January 13, 2014.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, yesterday, one Musa Yaro, told the Judge that Olabinjo demolished some stalls despite the Judge’s earlier restraining order, to protect them.

Yaro, had through a motion exparte sought court’s intervention as he sued Ifako Ijaye Local Government, Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, its chairman, Benjamin Adeyemi Olabinjo and the Attorney General of Lagos State.

The Judge had in November given an interim order against the defendants, after listening to the counsel of the complainant, Opeyemi Bello, thus:

“That interim injunction is hereby granted to claimant/applicant restraining the defendants, their agents, servants, privies or anybody acting through or for them or on their behalf from trespassing, harassing, demolishing, disturbing or otherwise interfering with the possession of the claimants, his tenants and all persons claiming through them in respect of all that seven kee-klamps comprising 186 stalls at Irepodun Central Meat market, State Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Abeokuta Road, Ojokoro, Lagos State, the subject matter of this suit for 14 days only.”

Meanwhile, the court directed the claimant to put the council on notice. A day after the council was served with the court order, it called for a meeting. The notice of meeting signed by one Kehinde Jimoh for the legal officer, and dated December 5, 2013, reads thus: AI am directed to write you to come for a meeting with the Executive Chairman.

However at  the meeting, which was held within the Council Secretariat, on 6th December 2013, the Chairman, informed the claimant of his intention to demolish the property, with a provision to relocate the claimant to another place.  The meeting however, ended and the issue was unresolved.

Three days after the meeting, traders at the market were jolted when the council mobilized demolition team to pull down the stalls.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Justice Coker who was displeased with the LGA chairman for disobeying her orders, was also informed that there was no representation from the defence which made her to  order the arrest of Olabinjo immediately.
She further adjourned the matter to January 13 2014.

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