A landlord, Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu, has cried out over ongoing illegal demolition of his two buildings in Victory Park Estate, Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island, by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, against the order of the Court of Appeal, in Lagos.
Mr. Shittu said the AMCON’s action on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 is not only contemptuous, but also a flagrant abuse of the Court of Appeals’ judgement delivered by Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban, leading two other judges, including Justice Mudashiru Oniyagi and Justice Jamilu Y. Tukur, on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, in Lagos.
He said the judgement forbade AMCON from taking any action on the said properties in Victory Park Estate, in Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island.
In the judgement, which was sequel to an appeal challenging the ruling of the High Court of Lagos, by Justice Coram K.A. Jose delivered on October 24, 2019, dismissing the Defendant’s, now Appellant’s Notice of Preliminary Objection, granted the Order of Interlocutory Injunction in favour of the First and Second Respondents, Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu and More & S.A. More Limited.
According to the court, its judgement, which was based on the facts leading to the appeal as contained in the Appellant’s Brief are:
“By a Writ of summons and Statement of Claim dated 6th September, 2019, and filed during the lower Court’s 2019 annual vacation, the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu and More & S.A. More Limited), herein instituted an action against the 3rd and 4th Respondents only (Knight Rook Limited and Mr Lanre Olaoluwa respectively).
“That the 1st and 2nd Respondents also sought an Order of Interlocutory Injunction against the Defendants at the lower Court.
The Appellant being the party with the sole interest in the subject matter of the Suit applied to be joined in the Suit by a Motion dated 16th September, 2019, the Appellant was joined by the lower Court on the 17th September, 2019.”
According to the judgement, “the cause of action by the Respondents before the trial court, as can be garnered from record, is on the transaction between the 1st and 2nd Respondents and the 3rd and 4th Respondents which principally centres on sale of land on which the purported residence of the 1st and 2nd Respondents stands.
“It is on record that the Respondent was said to have been allegedly locked out of his residence.”
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According to the court, “It is on the strength of this that the learned trial judge exercised his judicial discretion restraining the 3rd and 4th Respondents from any form of further restriction of the 1st and 2nd Respondents from his said house pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
The judgement further stated that, “A judicial discretion is said to be a science of understanding to discern between falsity and truth, between a shadow and substance, between equity and colourable glosses and preference, and not to do their wills and private affection.
“Wherefore, judicial discretion has been exercised bona fide as in the appeal at hand uninfluenced by irrelevant considerations and not arbitrary or illegally by the lower court, the general rule is that an Appeal Court will not ordinarily interfere.”
A visit to the Victory Park Estate Estate showed that bulldozers were at work, demolishing the buildings on the directive of AMCON.
Attempts to speak with the officials proved abortive as the Supervisor on site refused to talk to the press and also declined in giving out the contact of their head/manager for a reaction on the development.