A judge at an Abuja High Court, Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo has brought untold hardship on some tenants by contradicting himself on two rulings that has seen them evicted twice from the same premises.
According to the aggrieved tenants, Justice Aladetoyinbo had, in 2014, made a ruling in a land dispute involving Bil Construction Ltd. and U.L.O Consultants Ltd, ruling in favour of U.L.O Consultants Ltd. on a property located at 34, Sokode Crescent, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, ordering that U.L.O Consultants Ltd. remain in possession of the property and ordered all the parties concerned to appear before him for a proper determination of the matter.
Meanwhile, Bil Construction Ltd., not satisfied with the ruling, appealed to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, where the matter is presently pending.
Then, in a contradictory stance, Justice Aladetoyinbo who ruled in favour of U.L.O Consultants in 2014, suddenly released a signed document, in the case of Bil Construction against Gazi Construction Limited (to which U.L.O Consultants Ltd. is not a party) ordering the eviction of U.L.O Consultants Ltd. from same property, without giving the occupants any notice or hearing, albeit the fact that the Court of Appeal is yet to deliver a decision on the Appeal filed by Bil Construction; against the earlier ruling in favour of U.L.O Consultants.
Worse off, the urgent application brought by the tenants of U.L.O Consultants Ltd. seeking to be restored back to possession which the court fixed for hearing on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, could not hold for no good reason.
The registrar only informed the lawyer to the aggrieved tenants that Justice Aladetoyinbo instructed that the case be adjourned to Monday, February 20, 2017.
The tenants alluded to the fact that the lawyer to Bil Construction Limited must have had prior knowledge that the court will not sit as they were neither in court nor filed any processes notwithstanding that they were served a notice by the court to appear on that day.
The property which houses the ULO Plaza, according to the lawyers, was originally owned by Gazi Construction Ltd. When Gazi Construction Ltd. was taken to court by some persons who claimed he owed them, Gazi lost the case as the court ruled in favour of the creditors and the land was auctioned.
After some time, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), during their subsequent accelerated development, revoked the ownership of the land and allotted the land among other plots to other developers, with U.L.O Consultants Ltd. being one of those allocated the land.
U.L.O Consultants Ltd., after being granted the right of occupancy by the FCTA, developed the property between 2006-2008 and peacefully occupied it until 2014 when Bil Construction came with the first warrant of possession.
Now, the case between Gazi Construction and Bil Construction was ruled in favour of Bil Construction.
Bil Construction Ltd. using the judgement he obtained against Gazi Construction Limited, secured a warrant of possession from Justice Aladetoyinbo and thus, sprang up with claims of possession and used it to evict U.L.O Consultants Ltd. and all the occupants of the building, insisting that the courts had confirmed the auction sale of the empty land to him in 1993.
Another angle to series of events, according to the application filed before the court, is that there is another subsisting Order of Injunction from High Court 25 (FCT), restraining the Deputy Sheriff and Bil Construction from interfering with the possession of the property by U.L.O. Consultants Ltd., pending the determination of the issue of title between U.L.O Consultants Ltd. and Bil Construction Ltd., an order Justice Aladetoyinbo is well aware of.
It would now seem that the Hon. Justice not only overturned his own previous ruling, but also that of another High Court Judge who had been (and is still) hearing the matter of title between U.L.O Consultants Ltd. and Bil Construction Ltd.
Upon investigation, some tenants expressed fear that they may not get justice in the case, in view of the surrounding circumstances and are threatening to write a petition against Hon. Justice Aladetoyinbo to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Department of State Services (DSS).
20th February, 2017