Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja yesterday restrained a member of the state’s House of Assembly, Rotimi Olowo from taking further steps to construct a Petrol and Gas Filling Station in a residential area pending the determination of a suit challenging the construction.
Some aggrieved landlords and residents of Irawo Osan, Omotayo Close and Idowu Layemo Crescent, in the Ketu area of Lagos State, had dragged the lawmaker, who is representing Somolu constituency 1, and four others before the court, urging it to stop the construction over safety, environmental and health reasons.
They submitted that the proposed development of the petrol and gas filling station is highly risky and dangerous to their lives and properties and it is also likely to cause physical and operational nuisance or have a major impact that cannot be adequately mitigated on their immediate environment and facilities.
The plaintiffs in the matter are Mrs Adepeju Omotayo, Rev, Kayode Abraham, Engr. Adebisi Ladipo, Alhaji Atoyebi Akande, Col. Olowokande, Mrs Iyabo Idowu, Kola Onasanya, Adeboye Akano, Mrs Ebun Akinya, Gbenga Omolayo and Lateef Adeoye.
While the defendants are: Hon. Emmanuel Rotimi Olowo, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Lagos State Building Control Agency, the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The residents are also praying the court for an interim injunction on the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR) from issuing storage and sales license(s) and/or permitting to sell, supply and distribute petroleum products or any other product meant to be sold at a licensed Petrol Station to the first defendant at 2 Irawo Osan Street, Demurin Street, Ketu, Lagos State pending the determination of the suit.
The plaintiffs in an affidavit filed in support of the suit and deposed to by Mrs Omotayo stated that sometimes in May 2019 they were woken up at about midnight by an unusual loud noisy sound which caused panic and force every resident out of their abodes to inquire for the cause.
“That they discovered that four heavy-duty trucks and a crane brought in to their environment three oil/petrol storage tanks of about 160,000 cubic meters to their area.
“That after much investigation, we discovered that the storage tanks belonging to the first defendant who had bought the two and half vacant plots at 2 Irawo Osan Street to sell and supply petroleum products and was about to commence construction in our community and within our houses, a Mega Petrol Station.
“That all efforts to resolve the dispute out of court have been unsuccessful as the first defendant dared us to go to court, bragging that we cannot have victory as his party is in power.
“That the first defendant/respondents have been boasting proudly around that nobody including this Honourable Court can prevent him from construction and building the petrol and gas station at our community.
“That I know that this application is necessary to stop the oppressive, arbitrary and justiciable conducts of the Defendants to use official cover, personal and political influence to overreach the Claimants notwithstanding our open objection to the proposed project.
Justice Lawal-Akapo in bench ruling directed that since the lawyer to the defendants are in court, the processes should be served on them. He gave the defendants eight days to respond while he ordered the defendants to stop every construction on the site forthwith in line with extant Supreme Court decisions, pending the hearing of the motion on notice. He also fixed November 24, 2021 for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.