Osagie Otabor, Benin
Mr. Tony Kabaka Adun has lost bid to extend the initial 14-day restraining order on Governor Godwin Obaseki planned demolition of his hotel.
Kabaķa’s hotel was marked for demolition earlier this month but he got a restraining order which barred Governor Obaseki from carrying out the exercise.
In other parts of the state, illegal buildings and shanties were pulled down.
Kabaka had approached the court and got an order of interim injunction restraining the Commissioner, the Governor, Attorney General and Edo Government from demolishing, removing, pulling down or altering the building.
In his interlocutory application, Kabaka through his Counsel, U.L Osa-Uwagie argued that the State Government did not declare the area, Ugbor, as a planning area and did not gazette it according to the Town and Country Planning Law of Bendel State 1979, CAP 165, section 6.
He claimed that the state governor was witch-hunting his client as a result of their political differences.
At the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday, Justice D. I. Okungbowa refused to grant the prayer of Kabaka who sought an extension of the 14-day restraining order, which temporarily stopped demolition of his hotel.
The judge refused the prayer of Adun after Edo State Solicitor General, Oluwole Iyamu (SAN), argued that the order could not be extended beyond the 14 days lifespan.
Iyamu argued that “the deed of transfer attached to the motion by Mr. Kabaka and his lawyer was not registered with the state government and that he doesn’t have an approved building plan for the hotel building. The entire Edo State is a Planning Area as declared and gazetted by the former governor Comr. Adams Oshiomhole, with Gazette No 22, published 27th May, 2010. Hence, the entire Benin City is a planning area, which affirms that the hotel is an illegal structure”.
He said it would be in the best interest of justice for the motion for injunction to be dismissed, adding that Governor Obaseki does not have any sort of political differences with the claimant as alleged.
The court adjourned the case to November 5th November 2019 to hear further arguments on the motion for interlocutory injunction.
Edo State Government had on 9th October, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, issued a seven-day notice to Tony Adun to remove his T. Latifah Hotel and Suites, located at the Ugbor axis of the State capital.