NBA, Ibadan Branch, Condemns’ Demolition of Ayefele Music House by Oyo State Government
In the early hours of Sunday, the 19th day of August, 2018, the city of Ibadan woke up to the rude shock of the demolition of the Ayefele Music House, along Aare Azeez Arisekola Alao Road, (Challenge-Toll Gate Road) Ibadan by the Oyo State Government.
The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch will not delve into the merit of the dispute between the parties but will limit itself to its implication on the rule of law.
It is our understanding that there is a pending suit in court over the decision of the Oyo State Government to demolish the property.
It is trite that once parties subject themselves to the jurisdiction of a court, they must be ready to abide by the outcomes and refrain from taking further step that can prejudice the case and render the final decision nugatory.
The Rule of Law is the basis upon which a just society is governed.
Even if there is no express order of court restraining the government, the fact that parties are already in court over the matter is a sufficient reason why the government must stay action.
It is a cardinal principle of law that once an application for injunction is served, the parties should wait for the outcome of the application so as not to foist a fait accompli on the court.
A statement jointly signed by Oluwole Akintayo, Akeem A. Okelola, and Femi Omotayo.
Chairman, Secretary and Publicity Secretary
NBA, Ibadan Branch said, “ In view of the above, the Oyo State Government should not have carried out the demolition exercise.
“The Supreme Court of Nigeria has since settled this in the landmark case of Ojukwu v. Military Governor of Lagos State  1 NWLR (Pt.18) 621 that parties including state governments, must not resort to self-help and that the fact that a matter is in court is sufficient to restrain parties from taking the law into their hands.
“It must be clear to the actors in government, being products of democratic rule, that they must at all times abide by and respect the Rule of Law.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch, therefore condemns this act of the Oyo State Government in its strongest term.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch under our watch will continue to be in the vanguard of the promotion of the Rule of Law.
In a similar vein, residents of Ibadan on Sunday lamented Sunday’s demolition of the Music House owned by the popular musician, by the Oyo State Government.
Agency reports had it that the structure located on the Challenge-Toll Gate dual carriageway in Ibadan houses the popular Fresh FM radio station owned by the musician.
Hundreds of residents reportedly thronged the scene wielding placards with various inscriptions criticizing the state government over the exercise.
Ayefele, on his Face book page after the demolition, said: “Oyo State Government did at last…..my pains, my sweat…So help me God.”
Some of the early callers at the scene of the demolished building were Mr. Seyi Makinde, a PDP governorship aspirant and Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the Secretary of Unity Forum, a splinter group in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress.
Also present at the scene was Hon. Olusegun Olaleye representing Ibadan North State Constituency in the State House of Assembly.
Makinde, Olatunbosun and Olaleye, however, appealed to the irate residents at the scene of the demolished structure to remain calm, urging them not to resort to self-help.
Calls made to the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, were unsuccessful as his two cell phone lines were switched off.
NAN recalls that the state government had marked the structure for demolition, insisting that it contravened the state’s planning laws.
But Ayefele had approached an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan seeking to stop the planned demolition.
Ayefele’s counsel, Mr. Olayinka Bolanle, in an exparte motion filed before the court, sought for an order of the court restraining the state government from demolishing the property pending the determination of the suit.
Bolanle also stated that due process was followed in the construction of the structure while relevant approvals were obtained from the state’s departments and agencies associated with land and housing.
Justice I. Yerima ordered the claimant to ensure service of the court process on the respondent and adjourned the case till Monday for the hearing of the exparte motion.
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