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    Demolition of premises without no alternative provision by government

    Demolition of premises without no alternative provision by government

    The government of Borno State on June 20, 2018 carried out some demolitions at Galadima Area and Baga Road in Maiduguri metropolis. Among the demolished buildings were residential houses, hotels, shops, businesses, goods and chattels. The consequence of the said demolitions was monumental damage to the owners and occupants of the demolished buildings and property, as a lot of persons have been rendered homeless and jobless.

    On receiving the reports of the incidents, Lawyers Alert waded in and tried all means possible to resolve the matter with the Borno State government, but all efforts proved futile. At the end, it was clear that the only option left to Lawyers Alert was to institute an action in court to enforce the fundamental rights of the persons concerned. Consequently, Lawyers Alert instituted a civil suit at the high court of Borno State on the 18th day of July 2018 against both the state government and the Attorney-General of Borno State.

    The matter was subsequently assigned to a court and on the first day of hearing, Borno State government through its lawyer filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the locus standi of the Organization to institute the action in the first place. It was argued on behalf of the two Defendants that Lawyers Alert ought to have made those who own titles to the property, Plaintiffs in the suit. Thereafter, Lawyers Alert responded and a reply was further filed on behalf of the Defendants.

    Ruling on the Notice of Preliminary Objection, the court did not say anything on the objection raised in the Notice and responded to by the Plaintiff but decided on its own to raise and consider a different issue of the mode of commencement of the suit. In the end, the ruling was against Lawyers Alert as the matter was struck out by the court for lack of jurisdiction.

    Lawyers Alert has resolved to refile the matter in the same court for the consideration of the substantive issues on their own merits.

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