By Timi Black
Lagos State Magistrate Court has ordered the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to vacate its State Secretariat in Adekunle Fajuyi Way, Ikeja Lagos state over unpaid rent.
The order was fellowed by an earlier application filef by the children of the owner of the property – the late Chief Duro Ogundiran.
Source hinted Congress newspaper that following an unresolved dispute over the unpaid rent, the siblings instituted the action against the Registered Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Lagos State and one other.
The children of Ogundiran approached Chief Magistrate Adelaja I.O, with an ex parte order seeking leave to enforce a February 18, 2021 judgment which, among others, awarded the sum of N10,467 million against the PDP.
While delivering judgement, the court authorised the family to evict the party from the family apartment.
Chief Magistrate Adelaja held: “Pursuant to the motion ex parte dated 7th October 2021, seeking an order to force open the gate of 57, Adekunle Fajuyi, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos State, to execute the judgment of the court of 18th February 2021.
“That leave is hereby granted to the Deputy Sheriff of the Court to forthwith use reasonable force to open the gate to No. 57, Adekunle Fajuyi, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos in the presence of at least a member of the Nigerian Police Force.”
Armed with the execution order, fully armed policemen escorted court bailiffs to take over the property. The court officials, in the early hours of Monday, went into the premises and threw out some of the properties in the building belonging to the PDP.
The operation which lasted for over two hours drew the attention of neighbours, many of whom expressed shock over the incident.
The presence of a police formation next to the building could not prevent the execution of the court order.
In a swift reaction, Mr. Taofic Gani, PDP state’s image-maker, confirmed the party’s indebtedness to its landlord, adding that the opposition party would take every legal step to address the matter.
According to him: “It is sad that such could happen where there should be due legal process. To the best of my knowledge, I know there were demands for outstanding rent and in fact, some payments made with the balance to be paid soonest, but I’m not aware of any court process to evict at all.
“This must not be a “kangaroo” process aided to embarrass and destabilise the main opposition in the state. All sensitive documents of the party must have been destroyed or deliberately taken away to break our strategies towards 2023. This is vendetta. We shall put in all legal efforts to get justice.”