- As Banire sues State Govt over demolition property
Festus Keyamo, SAN, Head of Festus Keyamo Chambers, has written to Lagos State Government seeking stay of action on the plan to demolish property located at No.24A, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos State, belonging to Alhaja Sarat Banire, identified as their client. The legal practitioner pointed out that a suit challenging the planned action of the Lagos State government is pending in the court of law.
Keyamo in the letter dated Thursday, November 16, 2017, argued that
It is imperative to realise that the pendency of the above-mentioned suit necessitates that all parties must maintain the status quo and not to engage in any act that would foist a fait accompli (state of helplessness) on the Court.
Details of the letter to the Lagos State Government presented below:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State,
Office of the Attorney-General,
Lagos State Secretariat,
NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF COURT ACTION IN RESPECT OF PLANS TO DEMOLISH PROPERTY OF ALHAJA SARAT BANIRE:
REQUEST FOR STAY OF FURTHER ACTION
We are lead counsel to Alhaja Sarat Banire (“our client”).
Kindly find attached to this letter court processes in respect of Suit No. FHC/L/CS1736/2017: Alhaja Sarat Banire v. Attorney General of the Federation and Minster for Justice & 3 Others. In summary the above suit is a challenge to the expressed intention of the Lagos State Government to demolish property of our client at No.24A, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos State.
We therefore kindly draw your attention to the pendency of the said action together with the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction to restrain the Lagos State Government from carrying out the planned demolition.
It is imperative to realise that the pendency of the above-mentioned suit necessitates that all parties must maintain thestatus quo and not to engage in any act that would foist a fait accompli (state of helplessness) on the Court. This point was emphasized by the Court of Appeal in the case of Ezegbu v. F.A.T.B.  1 NWLR (Pt. 220) 669 at 725 para C whereTobi, JCA (as he then was) relying on the earlier decision of the Supreme Court in Governor of Lagos State v. Chief Ojukwu  1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 621 held as follows:
“That parties should not embark upon self-help when a matter is before a Court of law. Since the successful act of self-help will certainly render a subsequent successful decision nugatory, parties must refrain from it at all times. Therefore, once a party is aware of a pending Court process and whether a Court has given a specific injunctive order or not, parties are bound to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the Court process. They should on no account resort to self-help. Whenever such a situation arises, the court must invoke its disciplinary jurisdiction to curb the excesses of a recalcitrant party.”
This position was further reiterated by the Supreme Court in the case of F.A.T.B. v. Ezegbu  9 NWLR (Pt. 264) 132 at page 147 paragraph B, when the apex Court held thus:
“As shown in Ojukwu’s case supra, the plaintiffs, having been put on notice of the defendant’s appeal and his motion to set aside the order of extra-ordinary general meeting ordered to be held by the Federal High Court, they are duty bound to hold on until the hearing and disposal of the motion. Instead, they went ahead and held the meeting, taking far reaching decisions affecting the defendants…”
In view of the above, we respectfully urge you, sir, as a senior member of the Bar and on the strength of the above-referred authorities, to prevail on the Lagos State Government, which you represent as the Chief Law Officer, to desist from any further interference with our client’s property at 24A, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja,
Lagos State pending the hearing and determination of the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction in the above mentioned matter. The Motion in question has already been served on your office, and a copy also accompanies this letter. This is the only way we can preserve the dignity, authority and sanctity of our courts. To do otherwise would be an invitation to chaos in our society.
Yours most trusted,
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)
Head of Chambers