Fifteen subscribers have sued the Lagos state government over the collapse of a high-rise at 44BCD, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, in November 2021.
The collapse of one of the three towers, known as “360 Degrees Towers”, led to the death of no fewer than 42 persons.
It is 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.
They are asking the court to declare, among things, 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 seeking an order restraining the defendants from trespassing or further trespassing, demolishing or further demolishing the properties known as Tower 2 and Tower 3 until an independent audit of the property is carried out by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (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.
The claimants have applied to the judge to grant an ex-parte originating motion during the court’s annual vacation.