Barristers & Solicitors
Lagos begins reconstruction of Igbosere High Court

The Igbosere High Court, which was razed by hijackers of the #EndSARS protest on October 21, 2020, is now being rebuilt by the Lagos State Rebuilding Trust Fund.

The smoldering ruins of the multi-courtroom complex, reputedly the country’s oldest and most recognizable judicial facility, were demolished by two big Caterpillar excavators on Wednesday, according to reports.

Originally called the Supreme Court with its jurisdiction limited to Lagos, the court’s existence dates back to the period of the cession of Lagos to the British Government when Lagos was known as a British Protectorate.

The Lagos Treaty of Cession, signed on August 6, 1861, was a treaty between the British Empire and Oba Dosunmu of Lagos, in which Dosunmu, under danger of military bombardment, ceded Lagos Island to Britain while keeping his title and privileges as Oba, subject to English laws.

During the protest, however, a swarm of hoodlums stormed the premises, stealing computers, printers, files, fans, air conditioners, and other valuables.

The thugs also ransacked the neighbouring Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, the world-class Forensic DNA Centre (West Africa’s first), police stations, and other public and commercial facilities in Lagos.

On November 4, 2020, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed an Executive Order establishing an eight-member Lagos State Rebuilding Trust Fund, led by Mr. Yemi Cardoso, to restore the devastated edifice.

However, while the Fund went about its business quietly, the facility remained a relic, with burnt vehicles and other exhibits littering the grounds.

Construction workers began cleaning the wreckage on Monday and began demolition of the courthouse building proper Tuesday.

Last September, the chairman of the Lagos State Rebuilding Trust Fund, Yemi Cardoso, noted that the Fund began as a government initiative but has since evolved into a public-private collaboration.

Other members of the rebuilding committee include Konyinsola Ajayi, Managing Partner of Olaniwun Ajayi LP; Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank; Gbenga Agboola, Co-Founder and CEO of Flutterwave; Bola Adesola, Vice Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank; and a representative of an International Donor Agency.

culled from TVC