The Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd has again blocked the entrance and exit gates of the Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, with their heavy earth moving trucks and other construction vehicles.
The action, which is the 6th such incidents within 12 months by the company, has now completely locked in both residents and visitors to estates as they can neither go out nor can those outside come into the estate.
The Osborne Foreshore Estate 2 Residents Association had, only a week ago, lamented that Lekki Gardens Estate Limited had resumed fully in line with the company’s directive to contractors.
According to the residents’ association, the latest action by the construction company is a reaction to its decision asking the firm to revalidate the status of their workers.
The association insisted that what they asked for was not out of place “because the Estate has rules and regulations that guide residency and other activities in the estate, which Lekki Gardens Estate Limited has complied with until their latest recalcitrant position.”
The association believed that the company “is just trying to have its own pound of flesh because it took it to court for flouting estate construction and physical planning regulations in the state.”
However, indications from Lekki Gardens Estate Limited are that the residents’ association cannot in one breadth take them to court and in another be asking them to regularize the status of their workers.
Indeed, the management of the company faces contempt of court over their continued disobedience of the July 9 court order by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, restraining them from further construction activities in the estate.
Justice Oweibo, had in his ruling granted an interim injunction, in the suit brought by Osborne and Foreshore Residents Association, restraining Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd and Foreshore Waters Ltd from further work in the estate, while he also adjourned till August 10, for ruling.
However, in an application, which was moved on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, by counsel to the plaintiff, Adebowale Kamoru, a partner in the chambers of Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, prayed the court to jail Lekki Gardens Estate Limited’s Project Manager, Kehinde Dawodu, for flouting its ruling restraining his company from further constructing, developing, building or embarking on any similar exercise in Osborne Foreshore Estate 2, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The applicants averred in an affidavit attached to their application, that both respondents, in total disregard for the order of the court, continued to work on the site.
Consequently, they prayed for an order cordoning off the estate at Block II Plot 2, Plot 7 Block Plot 5 Block 6, Plot 17 Block 9, Block 9 PIot 23, Block 9 Plot 17, Block 10 Plots 1A,1.,1C, Block 6 Plot 19, Block 6 Plot 12, Plot 9A, Block 6 Plot 14, and Block 11 P ot 2, Signature One on Royal Palm Drive; Signature two, Le Chateau, Insigma and Foreshore Towers on Acacia road, within the estate.
They also asked the court for an order directing the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Command, “to immediately arrest, detain and produce” before the court any contractors and or workers found on the properties being developed by both respondents within the estate or within Osborne Foreshore Estate II, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Also listed as respondents alongside Lekki Gardens and Nyong, are: the National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency; Foreshore Waters Ltd and Lagos State Physical Permit Authority.
Indeed, the management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited has continued to flout the court order which restrained it from further constructing activities in Osborne Foreshore Estate 2, Ikoyi, Lagos.
In a letter, signed by Engineer Kayode Dawodu, the company’s Project Manager, entitled: “Immediate Resumption of Works at Osborne Foreshore Estate 2,” dated 22nd July, 2021, addressed to all its contractors, Lekki Gardens Estate Limited directed that, “all contractors are to immediately resume to work by Friday, 23rd July, 2021” at the Osborne Foreshore Estate 2.
In the letter, the company apologized “for any inconvenience” caused them, saying, “However, we hope that we can fully mobilize to site to proceed at same pace of work (or even better) than we had before the break.”
Attempts to see the management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited 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.
The Osborne Foreshore Estate 2 Residents Association finds it difficult to understand why Lekki Gardens Estate Limited would completely defy extant order granted by a competent court of the land.
Indeed, Justice Oweibo had made the order following an application by the Registered Trustees of Osborne and Foreshore Residents Association through their counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.
The order was given after months of long dispute over allegations of violation of the estate’s plans.
Pinheiro had argued, in the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/755/2021, that the defendant’s actions were against the policy of the estate as a residential territory.
Consequently, the residents prayed the court to halt construction process on the properties situate at Block 11 Plot 2, Plot b7, Block 7, Plot 5, Block 6, Plot 17, Block 9, Plot 23, Block 9, Plot 17, Block 10, Plots 1A, 1B, 1C, Block 6, Plot 19, Block 6, Plot 12, Block 6, Plot 9A, Block 6, Plot 14, and Block 11, Plot 2.
Others are: Signature One on Royal Palm Drive, Signature Two, Le Chateau, Insignia and Foreshore Towers on Acacia Road within the Estate or any other property currently being developed by the Respondents all within Osborne Foreshore Estate 2.
The court found merit in the application upon reading the affidavit in support of the motion exparte for interim injunction and exhibits attached, sworn to by the Admin Manager of the Osborne Foreshore Phase 11, Mrs. Ifeoma Maduakor.
The defendants in the suit are National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, Foreshore Waters Limited and Lagos State Physical Planning permit Authority.
However, the defendants failed to appear before the court to defend their position on the last hearing and the judge adjourned till July 26, 2021, to appear before it and argue why the interim should not be made permanent.