Flooding: FCT High Court Halts Further Demolition of Trademore Estate, Abuja

Trademore Estate, Abuja
Trademore Estate, Abuja

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Zubairu Mohammed, on Wednesday restrained the federal government from demolishing the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, as a result of the recent flooding of the estate.

Justice Mohammed granted Trademore International Holding Nigeria Ltd, developers of Trademore Estate, an order “for maintenance of status quo, and an interim injunction restraining all 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”.

Mike Ozekhome, senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN, counsel to Trademore International Holding, had on behalf of Trademore Estate, filed a suit against some Federal Government functionaries and agencies who had threatened to further demolish the estate over the flooding incident.

In the said writ of summons filed by Ozekhome, professor of Law, Trademore International Holding had, amongst other reliefs, asked the court to restrain the 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; 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, 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.

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 federal government, or her agents, from any acts of 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 on Wednesday by Benson Igbanoi, Esq, holding the brief of Ozekhome, Plaintiff’s counsel, Justice 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 September 22, 2023.

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