Residents of the Osbourne Foreshore Estate in Ikoyi area of Lagos state, today, protested the defiance of a federal high court order restraining Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd. and Foreshore Waters Ltd. from constructing within the estate premises.
Bearing placards, and donned in red vests with “Save Our Souls” imprinted on them, the Osbourne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) chanted “no to overbuilding”, in response to attempts by the Lekki Gardens to build 84 housing units in the estate, after 28 were originally approved by the state.
OSFRA chairman, Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah Esq. while speaking to journalists, said the estate had secured a court order restraining the company and its Managing Director, Richard Nyong from further development plans.
She said, “we are here to say enough is enough. People should build what they are approved to build. We are saying no to overbuilding. You cannot give somebody approval for 28 units and he is building 84, and Lagos state is asking us to look the other way.
“We’re asking Lagos state to hear us, we have been crying to them, they just ignored us (sic).”
Prior to the press conference, journalists were taken around the estate to see the ongoing construction and its potential dangers.
Some of the observed locations are captured below:
“Physical planning will come here, the next two days they came back themselves and opened it up. They told us they opened it for them (Lekki Gardens) to scale down, but instead of scaling down, they’ve been building.
“We got a court order asking Lekki Gardens to stop all work, they only obeyed the court order for only one day, the next day they issued a letter and said ‘continue working, the court does not matter, that they are court of concurrent jurisdiction.’ I don’t know what that means in their dictionary or who is advising them,” she added.
The Justice N. Oweibo ruling of July 9, 2021 read in part, “that interim order of injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd (Lekki Gardens Estate Limited) and 3rd defendants (Foreshore Waters Limited) (Respondents) whether by themselves or through their agents, servants, privies or assigns or otherwise howsoever from constructing, developing, building or carrying out any further construction, development or building activities on the properties situated at Block ll Plot 2, Block 7, Plot 5, Block 6, Plot 17, Block 9, Plot 23, Block 9, Plot 19, Block 6, Plot 12, Block 6, Plot 9A, Block 6, Plot 14, and Block 11, Plot 2, Signature One on Royal Palm Drive, Signature Two, Le Chateau, Insignia and Foreshore Towers on Acacia Road within the estate or any other property currently being developed by the Respondents all within Osbourne Foreshore Estate ll, Ikoyi, Lagos, predicated on any approvals granted by the 4th Defendant (Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority), pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
Another resident, Hector Etomi, echoed the stance of the chairman, and said there was need for law and order in the estate.
He said, “we want law and order because without law and order, we would be finished in this estate. It’s our land, it’s our building. We were allocated this land by the Federal government, and we must defend this estate.
“It’s a low density estate, if you see the buildings in there, they are sinking, and they have blocked our canal.”
Ezenwa-Mbah also alleged that in defiance of the court order, Lekki Gardens said it has the judiciary and the police in its pockets.
She also referred to an incident that occured on Thursday, where estate residents asked that workers of Lekki Gardens register before they are allowed into the premises.
She said OSFRA had complied with an original court order granting free entry and exit into the premises, but wanted to ensure the company complied with the most recent judgement to halt work.
The residents have now called on the federal government to intervene in the matter and help prevent the estate from collapsing.
Some of the placards read, “nobody is above the law.”, “Richard Nyong is Hushpuppi,” “No to overbuilding”.