Floods: Abuja High Court Restrains FG From Trespassing, Demolishing Trademore Estate

An FCT High Court No 51, Jikwoyi, Abuja, presided over by the Hon Justice Zubairu Mohammed today granted Trademore International Holding Nigeria Ltd, (developers of Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja), an order for maintenance of status quo and an interim injunction.

The order restrains all the federal government defendants and their employees, agents, officials, privies and all those purporting to be acting for them or deriving title from them, and any other persons howsoever and whomsoever called, from trespassing, or further trespassing on, demolishing or further demolishing Trademore Estate, known as Plot 1981, Sabon Lugbe, Abuja.

Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had on behalf of Trademore Estate filed a suit against some Federal Government functionaries and Agencies who had threatened to further demolish Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, over issues concerning flooding of the estate.

In the said writ of summons filed by Prof Ozekhome, Trademore International Holding had, amongst other reliefs, asked the Court to restrain the Hon Minister of FCT, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, (AMMC ) and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC ) from demolishing the estate with the buildings and appurtenances thereon; or evicting the occupants from the said Trademore Estate; or from trespassing on in any manner howsoever, into the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja.

The summons also restrained the authorities from carrying out any further or fresh demolition exercise of any structures or buildings in the said estate; or in anyway interfering with the plaintiff’s exclusive right of ownership and possession of the said property.

Trademore Holding in the main suit complained to the Court about earlier illegal, wanton and unconscionable demolition of buildings belonging to innocent occupants in the estate by agents of the Defendants when it was manifestly clear that the three floodings ever experienced in the estate since it was built in 2007, were all caused, not by the Plaintiff or occupants of the estate, but by acts of gross negligence occasioned by the Defendants; or through outright inaction by agents of the Federal Government.

The federal government agencies were said to be negligent by refusing to implement any of the anti-flooding measures jointly devised and agreed upon at various meetings and through several correspondences by representatives of the Federal government and Trademore Holding International Ltd (owners of theTrademoreEstate ).

The Plaintiff argued, amongst others, that if the Defendants through the Ecological Fund had not built a very narrow carnal instead of a huge bridge to allow free passage of water coming from a now broken down and disused dam that runs through several adjoining settlements, coupled with several unstrained excavatory acts of other developers in the area, there would have been no incidence of flooding in the estate.

Trademore Holding therefore sought from the Court an order for maintenance of status quo and also an ex parte order of interim injunction restraining all the Defendants, or their agents, servants, employees or privies howsoever and whomsoever, from any acts for further trespass or demolition of the estate or any part thereof, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction which was also filed alongside the writ of summons, statement of claim and the motion for interim injunction.

In the ex parte application argued today, (12th July, 2023), by Benson Igbanoi, Esq, leading Miss Vivian Oluchi Uche (holding the brief of the Plaintiff’s Counsel, Professor Ozekhome), the learned trial Judge, Hon Justice Zubairu Mohammed granted all the Claimant’s injunctive reliefs against the federal government functionaries and agents.

He also specifically granted the second prayer asked for, to wit, that “all parties maintain status quo, while the Motion on Notice and Writ of Summons be served on the Defendants forthwith”.

The Judge thereafter adjourned the motion on notice for hearing to the 22nd of September, 2023.


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