Tony Osauzo, Benin
Embattled Tony Kabaka Adun, whose T. Latifah Hotel and Suites was demolished last Wednesday in Benin City by Edo State Government, has asked an Edo State High Court to order the Government to rebuild his hotel.
Kabaka had earlier filed a suit stopping the demolition of the hotel and the court was set to deliver judgment when the state government pull down the hotel.
The government said the action was its ongoing efforts to remove illegal structures erected on government property, including public schools and waterways as well as roof eave-extensions and structures erected on the right of way of roads/streets, moats, riverbanks, TCN high tension lines, among others in Benin City and other major settlements in the state.
But following the demolition, Kabaka filed an application asking the court to order the state government to return his hotel to the state it was before he instituted action against the government.
His counsel, Leonard Uwagie, urged the court to hear the application before delivering judgment owing to new development, stressing that not hearing the application would amount to a breach of the right to a fair hearing.
Countering the argument, Solicitor General of the state, Oluwole Iyamu, said the court cannot entertain any application when judgment is ready.
The Presiding Judge, Justice D I Okungbowa, however, ruled that the court would hear the application on the meritorious ground and adjourned the case to February 26 to entertain the application before judgment would be delivered.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the ruling, Uwagie said the judgment would mean nothing to his client if the application is not heard.
“Certain things have happened and so we are asking that the building be returned to its original state before judgment will be delivered.”
Meanwhile, Iyamu said the government followed all legal procedures before taking actions.