These are currently not the best of times for the Lagos State House of Assembly member representing Somolu State Constituency 1, Honourable Emmanuel Rotimi Olowo, reports The Gazelle News.com.
Honourable Olowo, a fourth term Lawmaker and Chairman of the House Committee on Finance has run into problems with landlords and residents of Irawo Osan, Omotayo Close and Idowu Layemo Crescent in the Ketu area of the state.
The landlords and residents are disturbed that Honourable Olowo has decided to construct a petrol and gas station in the community which is purely residential and which they feel is highly risky and dangerous to their lives and properties.
According to the residents, after they discovered that the Lawmaker was the one constructing the petrol station, they made attempts to dialogue with him but he allegedly waved away their entreaties. Thus, the landlords and residents had no other option than to seek redress in the law court.
The plaintiffs (the landlords and residents of the aforementioned areas) in an affidavit filed in support of the suit and deposed to by Mrs Omotayo stated that sometimes in May 2019 they were woken up at about midnight by an unusual loud noisy sound which caused panic and force every resident out of their abodes to inquire for the cause.
“That they discovered that four heavy-duty trucks and a crane brought in to their environment three oil/petrol storage tanks of about 160,000 cubic meters to their area.
“That after much investigation, we discovered that the storage tanks belonging to the first defendant who had bought the two and half vacant plots at 2 Irawo Osan Street to sell and supply petroleum products and was about to commence construction in our community and within our houses, a Mega Petrol Station.
“That all efforts to resolve the dispute out of court have been unsuccessful as the first defendant dared us to go to court, bragging that we cannot have victory as his party is in power.
“That the first defendant/respondent have been boasting proudly around that nobody including this Honourable Court can prevent him from construction and building the petrol and gas station at our community.
“That I know that this application is necessary to stop the oppressive, arbitrary and justiciable conducts of the Defendants to use official cover, personal and political influence to overreach the Claimants notwithstanding our open objection to the proposed project.
The plaintiffs in the matter are: Mrs Adepeju Omotayo, Rev, Kayode Abraham, Engr. Adebisi Ladipo, Alhaji Atoyebi Akande, Col. Olowokande, Mrs Iyabo Idowu, Kola Onasanya, Adeboye Akano, Mrs Ebun Akinya, Gbenga Omolayo and Lateef Adeoye.
While the defendants are: Hon. Emmanuel Rotimi Olowo, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Lagos State Building Control Agency, the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The plaintiffs submitted further that the proposed development of the petrol and gas filling station is highly risky and dangerous to their lives and properties and it is also likely to cause physical and operational nuisance or have a major impact that cannot be adequately mitigated on their immediate environment and facilities.
The residents are also praying the court for an interim injunction on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) from issuing storage and sales license(s) and/or permitting to sell, supply and distribute petroleum products or any other product meant to be sold at a licensed Petrol Station to the first defendant at 2 Irawo Osan Street, Demurin Street, Ketu, Lagos State pending the determination of the suit.
The case came up before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.
On Wednesday, 3 November, 2021, Justice Lawal-Akapo restrained Honourable Rotimi Olowo from taking further steps to construct the petrol and gas filling station in a residential area pending the determination of a suit challenging the construction.
Justice Lawal-Akapo also directed that since the lawyer to the defendants are in court, the processes should be served on them. He gave the defendants eight days to respond while he ordered the defendants to stop every construction on the site forthwith in line with extant Supreme Court decisions, pending the hearing of the motion on notice. He also fixed November 24, 2021 for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.