Law News
Ajah kingmakers lose court case against Julius Berger

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday struck out a suit by two traditional kingmakers in Ajah, Lagos, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Adealo and Chief Sulaimon Alayande, to stop Julius Berger Plc from carrying on land reclamation activities in Ajah, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Justice Saliu Saidu struck out the suit marked FHC/CS/983/13 for want of jurisdiction.

The Ajah kingmakers and land owners had, through their lawyer, Olukayode Oseni, sought a court declaration that the Lagos State Government lacked the authority to issue licence to Julius Berger to carry out land reclamation activities on the land they claimed to belong to them.

The plaintiffs specifically sought a declaration that the Lagos State Government had no right to issue a licence to Julius Berger “to re-claim land in the Lagos lagoon abutting Ajah area of Lagos or any part thereof as same is under the constitutional competence of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

They prayed the court “to restrain Julius Berger, either by itself or its agents, privies, staff or whatever name so called, from carrying out any further act of land reclamation in the Lagos lagoon, capable of interfering with the plaintiffs’ right of navigation on the Lagos lagoon.”

The plaintiffs had asked the court to determine whether Lagos State Government had “the constitutional competence to legislate on matters pertaining to shipping, navigation, sand dredging and land reclamation in the Lagos lagoon.”

According to the Ajah kingmakers, only the National Assembly had the constitutional competence to enact laws “to regulate, improve and develop shipping, navigation and other activities, including reclamation of land, sand-filling and sand dredging in both international, inland and inter-state waterways in Nigeria,” pursuant to suit seekers 4(2) (3) (5) and 315 (1)(a)(b) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution.

Joined as defendants in the suit were Julius Berger, Oriat Agbeke Nigeria Limited, Chief Fatai Lawal, the Attorney General of Lagos State, the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Inland Waterways Authority.

But Julius Berger, in a counter-affidavit filed through its lawyer, L.O. Karim, argued that the Federal High Court had no jurisdiction to adjudicate on a dispute between the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government, adding that the plaintiffs were not entitled to the reliefs or orders that they sought before the court.

The Attorney General of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, in his own notice of preliminary objection to the plaintiff’s suit, maintained that the plaintiffs failed to show any reasonable cause of action.

Saidu, in his ruling last week, struck out the plaintiffs’ case, as he held that the Federal High Court could not adjudicate on a dispute between the Federal Government and a state government.

Click here to read from source.

You must be logged in to post a comment.