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Court Adjourns Eko Atlantic City’s Dredging Suit

The Federal High Court in Lagos will on May 8 hear closing arguments in a case challenging the legality of Eko Atlantic City’s dredging.

The plaintiff, Mondinvest Limited, filed the suit over eight years ago.

The suit has M. V. Breughel, Master of the M. V. Breughel and Dredging Environmental Marine Engineering N. V. (Belgium), employed by Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury, as the defendants.

Mondinvest is praying the court to declare the dredging and land reclamation in the Kuramo Waters of Victoria Island as illegal.

The area has been designated by the Chagoury brothers as the Eko Atlantic Phases II-VI.

The plaintiff, in addition to seeking damages for alleged negligent dredging and devaluation of property, is also asking for a restoration of the Kuramo Waters to its original condition under the court’s supervision.

According to the plaintiff, the environmental part of the claim is based on the paramount importance of the Kuramo Waters as a natural overflow and drain to the Atlantic Ocean of Five Cowrie Creek and Victoria Island during the rainy season and when severe flooding occurs.

The ongoing dredging operations, Mondinvest claimed, are aimed at sealing up the Kuramo Waters in a bid to create more land for the Eko Atlantic project.

The plaintiff’s claim is that the consequences of the phases of land reclamation would eradicate the efficacy of the Kuramo Waters without which Victoria Island would become prone to heavy floods and gradually go underwater.

Expert evidence from an internationally renowned oceanographer in Washington DC in the United States of America (U.S.A) had been adduced to in the suit to the effect that the Kuramo Waters has existed as a natural body of water serving Victoria Island as long as Lagos has existed.

The plaintiff argued that the consequences of the ongoing dredging, which has been intensified by the Belgian dredger owners since June 2023 to date, is to destroy property values, investments, and livelihoods of citizens along the Kuramo waters shoreline and beyond.

The claimant is seeking damages for negligent, unlawful and illegal dredging by the defendants.

At the resumed hearing on February 20, the plaintiff’s counsel, Olumide Aju (SAN), concluded his cross-examination of the defence expert witness, Prof. Lucian Chukwu

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Lagos clampdown on illegal estate development

The Lagos State Government has clamped down on illegal estate developments around the Epe corridor of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, said this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

He stated that he led a special joint exercise to the axis on Thursday and Friday, based on the directive of the state executive council.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the exercise to include: Alaro City, Okorisan, Igbodu, Molajoye, Shaala, Ketu, and Epe.

Olumide said notices were also served on estate developments such as Patriot Bay Estate, Smart City Estate, the Legend and Hilton Royal Garden.

Others are Greenland Estate, Legacy City, Isinmi Lagos, Dominion City, Topview Estate, and Ibi Alafia, among others.

He pointed out that erring estate developers were requested to visit relevant authorities to perfect their documents.

According to him, under no circumstances should any developer go ahead to start the development of estates without obtaining layout approval, planning permit, and fencing permit as may be required.

The commissioner added that the requirements were necessary to ensure the attainment of an organised, livable and sustainable built environment.

Olumide explained that layout approval was required for proper arrangement of the estate to give room for appropriate services and infrastructure, while the planning permit addressed the planning requirements on individual plots in the estate.

He urged property up-takers and buyers to be wary of investing in estates without approval, to avoid needless embarrassment from government officials.

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Police detain ADC to Fmr. Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has been arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Female police officer and others were arrested days after the former governor evaded arrest by EFCC operatives on Wednesday, April 17.

The officers were taken into custody on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from EFCC operatives.

The anti-graft agency had stormed Bello’s house to arrest him over allegations of money laundering and financial misconduct while in office.

The Nigeria Police Force has yet to release an official statement regarding the arrests, but police sources say the officers could face charges related to obstruction of justice or conspiracy to hinder a law enforcement operation.

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Zamfara govt suspends commandant state security outfit over allegations of poor funding

The Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the local security outfit, Community Protection Guards, CPG, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mallam Abubakar Nakwadahe and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital.

The statement said in part, “This is to inform the general public that, Zamfara State government has suspended Colonel Rabiu Garba as Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards”.

“The suspension takes immediate effect”.

According to DAILY POST no reason for his suspension was given but it was gathered that the suspension may not be unconnected with the radio live program he granted where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In a radio live program at the Vision FM radio Gusau, Colonel Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards.

He lamented that since their inauguration, the state government has not provided them with any takeoff grant.

Garba also said the officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He said members of the Community Protection Guards have been suffering from poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

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