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In Ruling on Niger Towers Dispute, Lagos Court Restrains UPDC From Redeveloping Victoria Island Prime Property

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A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria has restrained UACN Property Development Company Plc and its agent, Pro-line West Africa Limited from interfering with the existing structure of the developed property known as Niger Towers.

The Court also restrained UACN from carrying out the following activities to wit: reconstruction, renovation, redesigning of Block A and B of the Niger Tower located at 55, Glover Street, Ikoyi, Lagos in a manner that will fence Block C against Block A and B pending the Constitution of the Arbitral Panel and commencement of arbitration proceedings already initiated by the applicants against the respondents.

Joined as co-respondent is a company, Cobblestone Properties and Estates Limited, a company associated with Pro-Line West Africa Limited Company.

The order of the court was sequel to a suit filed before the court by the Incorporated Trustees for themselves and on behalf of Block C, Niger Towers Owners and Residents Association in Lagos.

An affidavit in support of the motion ex-parte was jointly sworn to by the four Trustees –Dr. Adedotun Sulaiman, Oluyemisi Ade-John, Victor Ogiemwonyi, and Adegboyega Austen-Peters– and was filed and argued before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Olayimika Olasewere.

The deponents averred that Pro-Line West Africa Limited Company bought Blocks A and B from UACN Property Development Company in 2019, before and after the blocks were sold to the company, the respective residents and owners of the affected property and blocks have enjoyed peaceful occupation of the premises with shared facilities and services, until recently when Pro-line West Africa Company was attempting to carve out the affected property from Block A and B and thereby denies it from the share facilities and utilities.

“Sometime in June 2020, Pro-line West Africa broached the idea of a “renovation” of Blocks A and B in the following manner: demarcation of the affected property from Blocks A and B in a manner that will restrict the residents and owners of the affected property to their block only and disallow them from having access to the shared compound and using the second gate in the building.

“Relocation of the utility area for sewage and water treatment to underground without considering the environmental impact assessment of this approach on the existing structure.

The applicants have always maintained the position that the proposed renovation by the Pro-line West Africa will greatly affect their members quiet enjoyment and peaceful, possession of the affected property which is contrary to the deed of the sub-lease they executed with UACN Property Development Company.

They contended that proposed renovation is contrary to the deed of sub-lease the company executed with the residents.

Consequently, the proposed renovation by UACN Development Company, if not restrained, will change the character and layout of the respective properties and diminish its value in the real estate market.

The presiding Judge O.A. Ogala after careful consideration of the entire facts before her, particularly the attached exhibits and provisions of the Arbitration and reconciliation said, “the court finds that it has jurisdiction to grant the interim relief sought, and granted same.

In addition the court ordered the applicants to file in the court an undertaking to pay to the respondents the sum of N10 million where it is found out that the court ought not to have granted the orders sought.

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