Contempt Suit Slammed On GTB, Others


A suit seeking court’s order to commit Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc to prison for contempt of court has been filed before a Lagos High Court.

Claimants in the suit, Mr. Ayodele Ogunbanjo and 20 others, whose buildings were demolished in May this year at Okun-Mopo village in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State by officials of the state government, are asking the court to commit the bank to prison for allegedly violating an order of Justice (Mrs.) T.A.O. Oyekan-Abdullai.

Also accused are the Governor of Lagos State and the Attorney-General of the state.

Justice Oyekan-Abdullai had on 19 May, ordered that further demolition and construction work on the disputed land be suspended pending the hearing and conclusion of the substantive suit before the court.

The court also ordered that all parties concerned and their counsels should converge at the office of the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General of Lagos State within two weeks of the order and furnish it with the outcome of the case.

Meanwhile, lawyer to the claimants’ Prince Sunday Abimbola, has, however, returned to the court, complaining that defendants in the suit have violated the order by commencing construction work on the site in spite of the court’s order.

Justice Oyekan-Abdullai has fixed hearing in the suit Monday, 6 December.

In their statement of claim, the claimants averred that Messrs. Omotosho, Gbenga Ashafa and Bayo Mohammed, all officials of Lagos State Lands Department, on 17 February, 2010, deceived them to come to Alausa for a meeting and that while the meeting was going on, they instructed officials of Lagos State Task Force demolition squad to demolish their houses.

It was further averred that while at the meeting, one Osagie came to show them a copy of a Certificate of Occupancy number 13/13/1996, informing them that their land had been given to Guaranty Trust Bank.

The claimants averred further that the Lagos State Government agreed to pay compensation to them but that till date, nothing has been done.

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