Cleric drags Fashola to court

The founder of Word of Life Bible Church has dragged the Lagos State Government and six other state bodies to court over the proposed demolition of the church building in Lagos.

The Founder and Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church,Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor, has dragged the Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola, to court in a bid to stop the proposed demolition of his church building in the state.

The Pastor Ayo Orisejafor led church filed a suit against the Lagos State Government and six others before a Lagos High Court. The Lagos State Attorney-General, Lagos State Ministry of Physical planning and Urban Development, Lagos state Building Control Agency, Lagos state Physical Planning Permit Authority, and Lagos state Task force on Environmental Sanitation have all been taken to court by the Word of Life Bible Church for proposing to demolish one of its branches at Victoria Island, Lagos.

‪The claimant which is the Incorporated Trustees of the church is urging the court for an order restraining the defendants, their agents, servants, officers or privies from demolishing or further demolishing, destroying, or forcibly ejecting them.

The claimant urged the court that the defendants should not continue to take steps or in any other manner engage in any activity(ies) detrimental or contrary to the rights of the ownership or possession of the claimant in respect of the claimants land located at Plot 21E, Abdulrahman Okene Close, Off Ligali Ayorinde Street Victoria Island, Annex Lagos.

Word of Life Bible Church in an affidavit filed before the presiding judge, Deborah Oluwayemi, declared that they had applied for building plan approval from the respondents which was not forthcoming within the regulated period. The claimants afterwards through Pastor Oritsejafor made due enquires, wrote several letters, and also held several meetings with the former governor of the state, Senator Bola Tinubu and the present governor of Lagos state Babatunde Fashola to sort out the building plan approval.

In the affidavit, the claimants claims that they received a letter in March 2013 from the defendants directing them to submit certain documents to facilitate the process of the approval of the building which they did.

It was however while waiting for the approval that the claimant say they discovered that the defendants had pasted a certain contravention notice dated January 20, 2014 on its fence, charging absence of development permit, as ground of seeking removal of the building on the land within two days.

In their counter-affidavit, the defendants claim that the claimants did not comply with rules and regulations and commenced the erection of the structure on the said property which led to the contravention notice served to them.

Judge, Deborah Oluwayemi adjourned the hearing to Tuesday, January 13 after the counsel to the claimant, Mr.A. Ndu Nwokocha, ask the court for an adjournment to enable him to respond to the defendants’ counter affidavit served on him at the court.

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