Court strikes out Contempt of Court suit against Lekki Gardens MD Nyong

Richard Nyong Lekki Gardens CEO

Richard Nyong Lekki Gardens CEO

By Akin Kuponiyi

A Federal High Court, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday struck out an application urging it to commit to prison Lekki Gardens Limited and its Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Richard Nyong, for allegedly flouting the order of the court stopping them from further construction in Osborne and Foreshore area of the State.

The presiding judge, Nicholas Oweibo also struck out the entire suit filed by the Registered Trustees of Osborne and Foreshore Residents Association,OSFRA for being abuse of court processes and lack of juridisction.

The cost of N50,000 was also awarded against them.

The residents’ association through their counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN had dragged Lekki Gardens Limited, its Managing Director, Nyong and Foreshore Waters Limited, before the court for allegedly disobeying an interim order of the court, made on July 9, restraining Lekki Gardens Estate Limited and Foreshore Waters Limited from carrying out any further construction, development or building activities in the Osborne Foreshore Estate II, Ikoyi.

However,OSFRA alleged that the order of the court was not obeyed.

Joined as co-respondent in the suit alongside Lekki Gardens Limited and others, was National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

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However, Lekki Gardens Limited, in response to the suit, filed and argued by their Counsel, Mr. Tola Oshobi SAN, urged the court to dismiss the Residents Association’s application and the order issued against the defendant, for being an abuse of court process and lack of jurisdiction, as the plaintiff concealed material facts before the court to obtain the order.

In his ruling on the application and counter affidavit filed and argued by the two parties, Justice Oweibo first granted Lekki Gardens Limited and its Managing Director, Mr Richard Nyong’s application to set aside the July 9 interim order made against them, by the court and dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the Trustees of Osborne Residents Association.

In striking out the Residents Association’s suit, Justice Oweibo agreed with the Lekki Gardens Limited and others that the plaintiff concealed material facts, saying that ‘though, apart from the first defendant, NESREA, other parties and facts in the suit before his court are the same as the suit filed before a Lagos High Court by Lekki Gardens Limited.

Consequently, Justice Oweibo, while citing plethoras of authorities held that: “looking at the processes before this court, it is only the first defendant (NESREA) that is not the party in the suit filed before Lagos State High Court.

“Looking at the circumstances of the fact that there is nothing different between the suit filed before this court and the one before a Lagos High Court, than first defendant, this suit is an abuse of court process.

“The suit is accordingly struck out and cost of N50, 000, is hereby awarded against the Plaintiff,” the judge said.

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