Court Refuses To Jail Ambode Over Otodo Gbame Demolition
The displaced residents of Otodo Gbame Community had approached the court seeking for the committal to prison of Gov. Ambode, and three others for court contempt.
The three other respondents in the matter are the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Kazeem Adeniji and Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo in his ruling said the governor in section 308 of the 1999 constitution as amended has constitutional immunity from prosecution and from being sent to prison adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the application.
The judge said the other respondents could also not be held liable for contempt since it was the claimant’s argument that the other respondents acted under the order and direct supervision of the governor.
The judge, however, said that “if the governor had truly ordered the forceful eviction and demolition of the houses, then he has undermined the principles of the rule of law and the same process which put him in office in the first place.”
The judge described the government action as reprehensible.
Recall that on Sunday operatives of the State monitoring team alongside men of the Police invaded the community, burning resident's houses.