Align Your Interests Before Next Adjournment Date, Court Tells Lagos State, Aggrieved White-sand Traders

Justice Akinkunmi Idowu of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, has asked aggrieved traders of White-sand Market, Otto, Oyingbo and the Lagos Mainland Local Government to align their areas of interest for an amicable settlement before the next adjourned date.

Justice Idowu, on Friday, told the claimants, through one of their representatives, Alhaja Sherifat Thanni, that getting a settlement on the matter is dependent on the traders being realistic.

Following a change of Counsel, the claimants’ new Counsel, Niran Orojinmi, told the Court that the aggrieved traders remained firm on their position of not vacating the market for demolition by the Local Government, but are asking to nominate a Contractor.

Orojinmi said, “The claimants want to appoint the Contractor, while the Local Government brings the Engineer to supervise.”

The claimants’ Counsel further told the Court that the traders had earlier wanted to get a developer for the market, but failed.

He said “The owner of the land determines what will be built on the land.”

Earlier, in the proceeding, Thanni, one of the representatives of the claimants, had told the Court that the White-sand market was in good condition and the drainage was the only part that needs to be fixed.

“We [the White-sand Market traders] do not want them to rebuild the market; we are ready to fix the drainage,” Thanni told the Court.

Further, the representative of the claimants told the Court that the Local Government intends to construct story buildings and sell the shops at N9million, an amount that is not affordable for the complainants, who are predominantly food items’ traders and need to stay on the ground floor level.

The counsel, representing the defendants, Lagos Mainland Local Government and the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Tope Kolawole, told the Court that the cost of building materials had increased.

Kolawole also said the Local Government will give the Court a copy of the market design, after the Judge directed that the building must have a section to enable the claimants decide where to stay based on what they sell.

He decried the extension of the matter and told the Court that the parties have been meeting for settlement since last year.

Justice Idowu however adjourned the matter to January 12, 2024, for further proceedings.

The claimants, represented by Sherifat Thanni, Alhaji Garba Malami and Orji Onuoha, had approached the Court over allegations that the Lagos Mainland Local Government is moving to take over the White-sand Market and demolishing its structures under the guise of reconstructing the market.

The claimants filed the suit marked LD/70789CM/2022 against Lagos Mainland Local Government and the State Attorney General as first and second respondents.

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