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Court restrains Fed Govt from evicting African Union from seven properties 

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A Lagos State High Court at the Tafawa Balewa Square has restrained the Federal Government or its representatives from further threatening to evict or evicting the African Union from seven properties in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice O. Ogunjobi granted an interim injunction also prohibiting the government or its agents from taking over, entering into or seizing the properties.

The properties are 3 Macpherson Avenue, 5A Ikoya Avenue, 5B Ikoya Avenue, 24 Mekuwen Street, 20 Gerard Road, 2A Kuramo Close and 2B Kuramo Close.

The judge ruled that the “Federal Government” included the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property.

The African Union is the sole claimant/applicant in the suit marked LD/S591GCM/2022.

The AGF and the Presidential Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property are the first and second defendants.

The judge’s order followed an ex-parte application by the African Union through its counsel Mofesomo Tayo-Oyetibo of Tayo Oyetibo LP, arguing that those properties enjoy immunity and the actions of the Federal Government threaten that immunity.

The claimant asserted via its originating summons that under several Deeds of Indenture relating to the properties, it is entitled to  exclusive possession of the seven properties.

It averred that it had to approach the court because the second defendant has been trying to evict it from the properties – despite them being in its possession – because the Federal Government had leased the properties to other persons.

It prayed the court to make an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants pending the determination of the notice of motion for interlocutory injunction.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Ogunjobi granted the applicant’s four reliefs.

It also restrained the government from interfering with the claimant’s occupation and use of the properties whether by an executive, administrative, juridical or legislative action.

The suit was adjourned till April 8, 2022, for a report of service.

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