In defiance of the court order issued by Justice Oyekan-Abdullai on July 1, the leadership of Osborne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) on Wednesday locked the entrance gate to the estate thereby denying the workers and contractors of Lekki Gardens Limited access to carry out their lawful duties.
The order by Justice Abdullahi was given in the case Suit No. LD/9224LMW/2020 filled by Lekki Gardens Estate Limited against OSFRA and its principal officers at the High Court of Lagos State in which the court ruled that Parties to the suit should maintain the status quo.
According to Steve Agbiboa, the Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Lekki Gardens Limited, who was at the gate of the estate from very early hours of the day, the estate residents ordered the security to put the gate under lock and key and stationed Mobile Police officers there to prevent the workers from gaining entrance to the estate.
He noted that following the incessant disturbances and threats from the Osborne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) to prevent Lekki Gardens Estate Limited to carry out its legitimate job, the company challenged the authority of OSFRA “to unilaterally deny us lawful access to its sites as duly approved by the Lagos State Government”.
“We were therefore surprised to get to the estate gates this morning to find our staff were being denied access, with OSFRA going as far as locking the gates against all users in their bid to unlawfully deny us access,” Agbiboa said.
“The resulting traffic jam extended to the Osborne, Ikoyi road, outward Third Mainland Bridge constituting a nuisance to the general public and innocent road users.”
Agbiboa noted that the court order is subsisting and valid stressing that the action of the OSFRA) is subjudice to that order and flagrant disobedience of a competent court.
He said despite the intervention of the police led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Dolphin Police Station, Ahmed Abdulkareem, the Chairperson, Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah, refused to open the gate.
The DPO and his team however helped to manage the free flow of traffic due to the congestion caused by the blockage.
“OSFRA’s actions constitute self-help despite a valid court order and are tantamount to the unlawful seizure of and banishment from our legally owned properties within the estate,” Agbiboa said.
“This is further evidence of OSFRA’s calculated and malicious attempt to frustrate the efforts of a legitimate and law-abiding business in furtherance of their misguided agenda in the name of condescending exclusivity.”