The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Orisejafor has dragged the Lagos State government and six others before the Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) over alleged plans to demolish his church.
In the suit instituted by the Incorporated Trustees of Word of Life Bible Church, the claimant is praying the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, privies or otherwise from demolishing or further demolishing, destroying, dispossessing or forcibly ejecting the claimant; or continuing to take steps or in any other manner engaging in any activities detrimental or contrary to the rights of the ownership or possession of the claimant in respect of the claimants land located at Plot 21E, Abdulrahman Okene Close, Off Ligali Ayorinde Street Victoria Island Annex Lagos.
Respondents in the case are: the Governor of Lagos State, Attorney General of Lagos State, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation.
The claimants in an affidavit attached to the suit, avered that after applying for the approval of its building plan from the respondents and it was not forth coming within the regular period.
The church through Pastor Orisejafor made due enquires, wrote several letters and also held meetings with the former governor of the state, Senator Bola Tinubu and the present governor of Lagos state Babatunde Fashola. The claimant further avared that in March 2013, the claimant received a letter from the defendants directing them to submit certain documents to facilitate the process of the approval of the building plan which it complied with. But while the claimant was still waiting for the building plan to be approved,so as to continue with its the development of the Church building, the church suddenly discovered that the defendants had pasted a contravention notice dated January 20, 2014 on its fence, alleging absence of development permit, as ground of seeking removal of the building on the land within two days. However, in its counter affidavit, the state alleged that the action of the claimants of not complying with rules and regulations informed its action. The state avered that the claimant commenced the erection of the structure on the said property without first obtaining a development permit. The respondents also alleged that after the claimant had applied for the permit, it did not wait for the approval, rather it continued with the construction of the building. The state further maintained that the claimant has also not provided all that was required to process its development permit. When the case was called for hearing on Monday, the matter could not go on as scheduled due to the application for adjournment moved by the applicant counsel, Ndu Nwokocha, praying for more time to respond to the counter affidavit served on him. Justice Deborah Oluwayemi had adjourned the matter to January 13, 2015, for further hearing. Sent from Samsung tablet. -LeadershipNg