Ladipo traders head for court over demolition

Some dealers at the popular Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market in Lagos have taken the authorities of the Mushin Local Government Area before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over an alleged threat to demolish their shops and eject them from the market.

The marketers, who said they were apprehensive that the defendant might soon make good its threat, are seeking an order of interim injunction barring the council from embarking on what they described as unlawful demolition of their shops.

The plaintiffs, in an ex parte application filed through their counsel, Mr. Richard Nwankwo, urged the court to direct parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of their lawsuit.

The 10 plaintiffs who sued are Nnamdi Chukwuka, Franco Offai, Vitus Okoyeagu, Felix Okafor, Peter Benson and Richard Olisakwe.

Others are Godwin Onyeka, Emeka Ikeh, Romanus Ezimora and Darlington Ugochukwu.

In the affidavit filed in support of their application, they alleged that without a prior notice, agents of the Mushin Local Government Area had invaded the market, and with the help of “hoodlums and rented armed policemen” commenced demolition of their shops.

They claimed that the respondent, after the invasion, had continued to threaten them with ejection and demolition, despite the intervention of the state Commissioner of Police, who reportedly met with the parties on July 21 and appealed to everyone to be law-abiding.

Chukwuka, who deposed to the affidavit, said the demolition and ejection threat by the Executive Secretary of Mushin LGA, Mr. Jide Bello, was coming while the plaintiffs had subsisting rents.

The deponent, who accused Bello of hiding under “the guise of redeveloping the market”, said, “The respondent also deployed some equipment in the market and removed roofs.

“The hoodlums went on a looting spree, carting away some of our expensive goods, cash and other valuables.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

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