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In response to the November 2021 collapse of a high-rise at 44BCD, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, fifteen subscribers have filed a lawsuit against the Lagos state government.

No less than 42 people died as a result of one of the three towers, the “360 Degrees Towers,” collapsing.

 

It was understood that a number of senior lawyers, pastors, a king-elect and a female oil magnate invested over N15 billion in the property that was being developed by Fourscore Heights Limited, a company promoted by Femi Osibona who also died in the tragedy.

 

The writ of summons, dated August 12, 2022, and marked Suit No LD/3962LM/22, was filed on behalf of 15 of the subscribers by A.U. Mustapha, a senior lawyer, before a Lagos state high court.

 

Named as defendants are the governor of Lagos state, the attorney-general of Lagos, the state ministry of physical planning and urban development, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Edge of Design Limited.

 

The claimants are seeking general damages of N200,000,000 and another N50,000,000 as the cost of filing the suit.

 

Among other reasons, they want the court to rule that:

 

The agreements between Fourscore Heights Limited and each of the claimants to acquire units of flats, with agreed considerations paid, entitle the claimants to equitable rights and interests in the other two towers at 44BCD, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi;

The first, second, third and fourth defendants were negligent in the performance of their duties by failing and/or neglecting to supervise the construction of one of the three towers;

That the first, second, third and fourth defendants cannot benefit from their negligence by compulsorily, wrongfully, illegally and punitively acquiring or threatening to acquire the property at 44BCD through forfeiture and/or purported forfeiture to the Lagos state government following the collapse of one of the towers;

Any demolition of the two other towers when independent evidence of an unfavourable non-destructive test results has not been produced will adversely affect the equitable interests of the claimants in the said properties;

The claimants’ equitable interests in the property cannot be expropriated and/or divested by the government of Lagos state or any of its agencies.

The “overt move” and the action taken and being embarked and contemplated to be embarked upon to demolish or preparing to demolish the structures of Towers 2 and 3 of the property is a flagrant violation of the Claimants’ equitable interest in the aforesaid property.

The claimants are asking for a court order preventing the defendants from entering or entering again, or from demolishing or further demolishing the properties known as Tower 2 and Tower 3 until the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria has conducted an independent audit of the property (COREN).

 

They also seek an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from disturbing, interfering with, taking, receiving or in any way taking possession of, demolishing, divesting and/or revoking the title, disposing of all or any part of the property, landed or otherwise.

 

During the court’s yearly break, the claimants have asked the judge to approve an ex-parte originating motion.

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Breaking:Ibrahim Gusau Clears the Old Order – Emerges new NFF President

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Ibrahim Musa Gusau has been elected the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

 

Gusau was elected at NFF’s 78th Elective Congress which was held in Benin, the Edo State.

 

He polled 21 votes to beat his closest challenger former Ist Vice President Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi who got 12 votes.

 

Though Gusau did not poll the needed 22 votes to automatically win in the first ballot, other contenders opted out of the possible rerun

 

Amaju Melvin Pinnick was the former Chairman of the board.

 

Recall that the Court of Appeal had on Thursday granted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) a stay of execution ahead of the forthcoming NFF elective congress.

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TAX EVASION AND FORCEFUL ACQUISITION OF OBAJANA CEMENT, KOGI & AKWA IBOM GOVERNMENT BATTLE DANGOTE

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These are not the best of times for Dangote Group as they face allegations of sharp practices in business from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.

Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

The crux of the matter, from our investigations arise from sharp practices in terms of tax payments.

According to exclusive reports from Kogi State, the initial story was that Dangote Group took over the State Cement Company illegally without paying a dime for the takeover.

 

According to our findings, Dangote took over the State Cement Company Obajana Cement without paying the necessary compensation to the State government.

This is corroborated by the State Assembly findings.

According to some media reports, ‘the parliament stated that all available documents showed that the company started as Obajana Cement Company before turning to Dangote Cement company without any considerations.

It also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the company and relevant receipts of dues claimed to have been paid to the government be made available at the next adjourned sitting date.

 

The Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

 

Kolawole said this has become imperative in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement.

 

The Speaker further directed that the Financial Director of Dangote Cement Company should meet with KGIGRS and the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry to reconcile financial differences.

 

Earlier, during the investigative hearing, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry had pointed out that Dangote had not been paying business premises fees since operation in the state.

 

Responding, the representative of Dangote, Alhaji Jimoh claimed that on the contrary, Kogi State had 10 per cent share which could only be claimed if the state showed interest, adding that since no interest was shown, the shares had been acquired when Dangote became a conglomerate.

 

While the Financial Director of Dangote, Segun Oyebanjo, claimed that since 2016, the company has paid in total dues the sum of N14 billion to the coffers of Kogi State Government through KGIRS with receipts.

 

But the Chairman of KGIRS said it was not so, adding that the receipts being bandied are not from them.

 

Oyebanjo stated that it was only in 2021 that some certain taxes were not being paid’.

But the Kogi problem with Dangote is not limited to this.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State. The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

 

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

 

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite series of pleas.

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