An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday restrained the state government, its ministries of Justice, Environment and Habitat, and Works and Transport from demolishing a property belonging to an Ibadan based businessman Mr. Dapo Davies.
Counsel to the Ibadan based businessman Mr. Dapo Davies Barrister Babatunde Akinola from the Michael Folorunso Lana Chambers, at the resumed hearing of the suit (numbered 1/173/13 filed by Davies, the Chief Executive Officer( CEO) of Pelly Foam Limited since 2013, over plans to demolish his building containing 25 locked up shops located along Agodi-Gate area of Ibadan) filed a contempt charge against the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Environment and Habitat and Commissioner for Works and transport.
The contempt charge was as a result of the storming of the building containing 25 locked up shops by officials of the Oyo state Ministry of Works and Transport with equipment to allegedly pull down the property in order to pave the way for the on-going dualization of the Gate- Iwo Road, Ibadan, despite the fact that the businessman had sought to join the ministry in the case pending before the court.
But counsel to the defendants, Barrister Olusola Orobode, from Oyo state Ministry of Justice told the court that the Commissioner for Works and Transport could not be committed into prison over the contempt charge in the suit in which his ministry had not been joined.
Barrister Orobode added that “as far as the Ministry of works is concerned, the ministry had not been served, there is no proof of service”saying,“we all know that the ministry deserves to be heard. The claimant cannot shave the head of the ministry in its absence.”
Barrister Akintola in his response, stressed that the Commissioners should come before the court to explain the reason why they want to go behind the door to demolish the said property, knowing fully that the case was pending before the court.
According to the counsel to the claimant/applicant, the Ministry of Works and Transport had been properly served and even responded by deposing to a counter-affidavit.
Justice Esan however ordered “stay of action restraining all the parties involved in the matter from tampering with the said property, pending the court decision”