Court Fails to Stop Oyo Govt from Further Demolition of Ayefele’s Music House

The Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, failed to stop Oyo State from further demolition of popular musician, Yinka Ayefele’s music house in Ibadan, on Monday, while adjourning till September 12, 2018.
Evangelist Yinka Ayefele/ Yinka Ayefele Nigeria Limited sued the Oyo state government, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Oyo state as the first and second defendant, over the demolition of the house Sunday morning.
Others defendants in the suit are the Ministry of Physical Planning, Ministry of Environment and Habitats, K.I. Apampa and Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, DG Bureau of Physical Planning and Urban development.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Counsel to the first and second defendants, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), protested that the defendants were not personally served.
He argued that service of hearing notice and other court processes would be deemed properly effected on the goverment through either the Head of Service or the Chief of Staff to the Governor and not a clerk in the Governor’s office.
The SAN also said the Ministries of Environment and Habitat, as well as Physical Planning and Urban Development which were joined as defendants were non-existent as the law establishing them was repealed in 2015.
But Justice Yerima told the government’s lawyer that he should not expect the bailiff to see the Governor to effect the service, showing the SAN the acknowledged proof of service in her custody stamped at the governor’s office and in the ministries.
Alliyu, upon verifying the proof of service, called for investigation of those who signed and stamped for the ministries, saying “dead people must have done the signing and stamping as the ministries are not known to the state government.”
Ayefele’s lead counsel, Bolanle Olayinka, expressed dismay that despite the pendency of the matter in court the state government went ahead to carry out the threat contained in the three days notice served on the property by demolishing it in the wee hours of Sunday.
He, therefore, prayed the court for an order directing maintaining of of status quo as contained in a further affidavit filed on Monday to stop the state government from returning to the property to continue what it started on Sunday.
The request was countered by Alliyu SAN, who argued that Ayefele’s case was not properly brought to court, adding that he would also need time to file responses to all the processes served by the claimants’ counsel.
Giving a short ruling, the Judge, Justice Iyabo Yerima, while noting that the matter was at a crossroad because the threat has already been carried out and the property destroyed, requested the counsels to address the court to reach a consensus on the next step to take.
After both counsel addressed the court and agreement reached on the need to adjourn, Ayefele’s lawyer insisted that a commitment be extracted from Ajimobi’s lawyer that no further demolition would be done to the building, a request to which Alliyu objected on the grounds that the claimant has a record before the court, claiming that the building has been demolished.
The matter was consequently adjourned to September 12 for hearing of all pending applications and issues to be determined.

Author: News Editor

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