Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has extended the deadline for the Lagos Mainland Local Government to hold a reconciliation meeting and reach a settlement with the aggrieved traders from White Sand Market, Otto, Oyingbo.
The court ordered the parties to meet and reach a settlement on the demolition and reconstruction of the White Sand Market, Otto, or proceed to trial.
According to Tope Kolawole, counsel for the defendants, “Lagos Mainland Local Government and the Attorney General and Lagos State Commissioner for Justice”, they have yet to receive feedback after sending over their proposal of settlement to the claimants.
He said that the impression being given by the claimants is that they are not ready to settle.
The counsel to the defendants asked the court to permit them to move their motion of preliminary objection in light of the delay.
Despite this, the claimants’ attorney, M. G. Quadri, told the court that the claimants were “very desirous of settling the matter.”
He noted that the claimants are still consulting among themselves before they send a reply to the proposal of settlement by the defendants.
Barrister Quadri pleaded with the court for “a little more time;” and he pointed out the large number of claimants.
A special status will not be conferred on the claimants by the court, Justice Akinkunmi Idowu announced.
Justice Idowu said that the court will give more time to the parties to reach a settlement or kick-off hearing on the matter.
He asked Quadri to file his Case Management Conference forms at the registry before the next adjourned date.
Subsequently, the matter was adjourned to November 20, 2023, for further proceedings.
The claimants, represented by Serifat Abeke Thanni, Alhaji Garba Malami and Orji Uke Onuoha, approached the court over allegations that the Lagos Mainland Local Government is moving to take over the White Sand market and demolishing its structures under the guise of reconstructing the market.
The claimants filed the suit marked LD/70789CM/2022 against the Lagos Mainland Local Government and the Attorney General and Lagos State Commissioner for Justice as first and second respondents.