By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
A Benin High Court has restrained Edo State Government from demolishing a property (T. Latifah hotel and Suites) belonging to a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Adun.
Hon. Justice D. I. Okungbowa gave an order of interim injunction in a suit No B/151/05/2019, restraining the defendants particularly the 1st defendant from carrying out and or demolishing, removing, pulling down or altering the claimant/applicant’s hotel buildings known as T. Latifah hotel and suites lying and situate at No1 Akin Oladiyun Street, behind Ugbor Primary School, Ugbor GRA, Benin City, Edo State, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The development followed the expiration of eviction notice served the Claimant, Tony Kabaka and owner of the hotel, T. Latifah located at the Ogbo axis of the State is said to have been built on government lands.
The court, having heard, U. I. Osa- Uwagie Esq. for the claimant/applicant, ordered as follows:
“It seems to me that more justice will be served if the defendants are temporarily restrained from carrying out their threat of demolishing the structure than allowing them to demolish same pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed”.
On his part, Mr. Tony Kabaka while pleading with the state government to temper justice with mercy, said the said property has the Certificate of Occupancy and that there is already a court injunction restraining the government for pulling down the building.
“You see, this is my deal of transfer that I used to buy the property. This is the signature; this is the Oba’s approval. You see, it is not today; this is the signature of the Surveyor General of the state. So, you can see he signed it himself”, Adun said.
Meanwhile, some concerned youths in the state have called on the state government to temper justice with mercy to allow the buildings remain on the land.
The youths in their large number were said to have gathered at the hotel as early as 9am to sympathize with Adun who has been visibly distraught by the message of demolition of his property from the governor of the state.
Addressing newsmen at the premises of the hotel, one of the spokespersons for the youths, Charles Uyiekpen who said he came from Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the State in respect of the proposed demolition, said the governor should show compassion on Adun no matter his offenses and allowed the hotel to remain.
Uyiekpen said that the pulling down of the building will only increase the level of unemployment in the State noting that the hotel has been able to put foods on the tables of the citizens of the State.