Illegal Seizure of Property: Court Adjourns N8.1bn Suit against Lagos to July 17


* Plaintiff seeks removal of judge for allegedly perverting justice

By Alex Enumah

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday adjourned to July 17 hearing in an N8.1 billion suit brought by an ex-army general, Alhaji Abdulrauf Tijjani, against the Lagos State Government and seven others.

Tijjani had dragged the Lagos State government, National Judicial Council (NJC), the Federal High Court and other respondents to court challenging the alleged injustice perpetrated against him by officials of Lagos State and a serving judge of the Federal High Court.

The plaintiff is specifically challenging the alleged sabotage of the execution of a court judgment which returned his landed property in Lagos State to him.

Justice Ekwo had last week adjourned to Monday (today) to commence hearing after ordering the plaintiff to serve court papers on all respondents in the suit.

However, when the matter came up for hearing on Monday, lawyers to the second and fourth respondents, the Federal High Court and Justice A. O. Faji respectively asked for time to respond to the allegations in the suit.

Following the non objection to the applications by the plaintiff, Justice Ekwo adjourned hearing to July 17 and ordered parties to file and exchange necessary court processes.

The judge warned all parties to put their house in order, adding that non of them should do anything that would stall the hearing on the next adjourned date

In the fundamental human rights suit instituted in Abuja, the former army general prayed Justice Ekwo to order Lagos State Government and the governor to pay him a cumulative compensation of N8 billion as damages for alleged injustice suffered in the hands of Lagos officials.

In the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/690/2020, the plaintiff is also asking the judge to compel the NJC to pay another sum of N100 million for alleged misconduct of Justice A. O. Faji during the hearing of his matter.

In addition, the plaintiff also asked the court for an order for the trail of Justice Faji for allegedly perverting the course of justice in his case.

Besides, Tijjani is praying the court to compel the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to remove the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on Mr Kasheem Adeniji and further de-bar him for alleged act of misconduct.

In a 19-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, the plaintiff averred that a former Attorney General of Lagos State, Abdulraheem Ade Ipaye now Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, allegedly coveted his landed properties in Shasha-Akonwonjo area in Alimosho Local Government of Lagos State to his personal gain.

He said as a result, he approached the court and got judgment in his favour on January 31, 2014.

He however said that the judgment could not be executed because of the alleged sabotage on the part of Lagos State officials.

The plaintiff claimed that his case got worse when his personal lawyer, Mr Kasheem Adeniji (SAN), was appointed Attorney General of Lagos State and subsequently an interested party in the matter.

The plaintiff further averred that following the appointment of Adeniji as Lagos AG, he disengaged with his law firm, adding that the AG turned against him by frustrating his case.

He is therefore seeking the intervention of the court to restore justice and grant him the reliefs sought in the suit.