2nd December, 2014
Justice Doris Okuwobi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, has set 18 December for ruling on whether claimants’ witness, Professor Olaniyi Okedele can be examined on the Environmental Impact Assessment report he co-authored in a suit filed by Dr Tunji Braithwaite against Standard Chartered Bank.
Dr. Braithwaite is challenging the construction of a 14-storey building with a multi-level car park opposite his residence in Victoria Island, Lagos, western Nigeria.
The decision to adjourn for ruling came up when the defence counsel, Adeniyi Adegbomire, objected to the examination of Prof. Okedele by Dr. Braithwaite.
Adegbonmire had argued that the witness cannot be examined on the document marked as exhibit 17 because he doesn’t have such in a statement on oath before the court.
But Braithwaite explained that the witness can be examined based on the fact that he co-authored the document with the first witness.
He wondered why a person who co-authored a document would not be allowed to throw more light on what he prepared.
At this juncture, the trial judge decided to adjourn in order to rule on whether the witness can be examined or not.
Earlier, Dr Briathwaite had stated that the outcome of the matter will either have a salutary effect on the judiciary or not.
Braithwaite in the suit is seeking an order declaring as illegal the building of a 14-storey commercial edifice and multi-level car park by the bank in an otherwise residential area in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The claimant is also uncomfortable with the bank’s installation of a giant industrial generators directly opposite his house with the concomitant fumes and noise shattering their air and serenity.
In view of this, Dr. Braithwaite is praying the court to grant him N10 billion in damages and a demolition of the building.
Earlier this year, the octogenarian told Justice Okuwobi that the Court of Appeal had stopped the bank at the second floor yet they disobeyed and have now completed the structure.