Lekki building collapse: Residents, homeowners disclaim call for class action

lekki-collapse-building11Against the backdrop of a call by Ms. Funke Aboyade, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, urging homeowners and residents in all the estates built by Lekki Gardens Homes Limited to file a class action to seek judicial reprieve following the uncertainties surrounding the firm because one of its buildings under construction collapsed in Lekki recently, the residents and homeowners under the aegis of Committee of Lekki Gardens Residents’ and Homeowners’ Associations, have disclaimed the call.

Scene of the collapsed building at Lekki , Lagos.
Scene of the collapsed building at Lekki , Lagos.

According to the associations at a meeting in Lekki Gardens Phase 1 Estate last week attended by their executive council members, a full page advertorial in one of the national dailies sponsored by the SAN about two weeks ago, had suggested that the advertorial was published on their behalf.

But in a swift reaction to the publication and a similar publication in Castles magazine of April 10th to 16th, 2016, with the caption ‘Lekki Gardens Saga’, the committee comprising seven associations unanimously denied the publication and its sponsor.

The associations present at the meeting include Horizon 1 Estate, Horizon 2 Estate, Lekki Chevron Paradise 3 Estate and Lekki Gardens Phase 3 Estate. Others are Lekki Gardens Phase 4 Estate, Lekki Gardens Phase 2 Estate and Lekki Gardens Phase 1 Estate.

They deposed that “The residents’ and homeowners’ associations are not in support of this suggested course of action as we believe that the government authorities are fully capable of doing their jobs under the circumstances. We take very strong exception to those parts of the publication where it was alleged that the investors were aware or suspected that the buildings being built by Lekki Gardens were defective. We deny this in its entirety.

“All the housing estates developed by Lekki Gardens and occupied by investors and residents have legally registered residents’ and homeowners’ associations representing their interests. The suggested class action is not in the best interest of the investors and residents.

“The houses developed by Lekki Gardens already belong to investors as the homes are sold off plan. In whose interest is the SAN acting? Her proposed course of action to institute a class action is premature and shall be counter – productive at this stage.

“We therefore call on all investors and home owners to reject the advert and rather join hands and work with the residents’ and homeowners’ associations, who have jointly disclaimed the advertorial in order to protect our investments in our own way. We believe that it will amount to double jeopardy for some people to attempt to use this misfortune of Lekki Gardens Limited as an opportunity to increase their own fortunes at our expense.

“The residents’ and homeowners’ associations believe that no one can love us more than ourselves and any solution that is not supported by the people directly involved is window dressing and at best an exercise in futility.

“It is instructive to note that amongst the numerous home owners, residents and investors in the estates of Lekki Gardens Estates Limited are many senior and vastly experienced lawyers who have reviewed the facts of this matter and come to the conclusion that the institution of a class action at this present moment is not in the interest of the investors and is not the best approach to adopt in order to protect their investments.

“For the avoidance of any doubt the respective residents and homeowner’ Associations categorically state that they have not engaged Ms Funke Aboyade, SAN or any other legal firm or practitioner to either institute a class action or make any legal representation on their behalf.

“While we express our deepest sympathy to the families of the people who lost their loved ones or who were injured in the unfortunate incident, we are compelled to take a stand in the unfolding drama as directly involved persons in this whole case”, the committee of associations said.

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