The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ibadan branch has condemned the demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s Music House by the Oyo State Government despite a pending suit challenging the demolition notice.
In a statement signed by Oluwole Akintayo (Chairman of the branch) Akeem A.Okelola (Secretary of the Branch) and Femi Omotayo Esq. (Publicity Secretary of the Branch), the NBA branch expressed shock at the impunity exhibited by the State Government.
In the wee hours of today, Sunday, the 19th day of August, 2018, the city of Ibadan woke up to the rude shock of the demolition of the Ayefele Music House, along Aare Azeez Arisekola Alao Road, (Challenge-Toll Gate Road) Ibadan by the Oyo State Government. The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch will not delve into the merit of the dispute between the parties but will limit itself to its implication on the rule of law.
It is our understanding that there is a pending suit in court over the decision of the Oyo State Government to demolish the property. It is trite that once parties subject themselves to the jurisdiction of a court, they must be ready to abide by the outcomes and refrain from taking further step that can prejudice the case and render the final decision nugatory.
The Rule of Law is the basis upon which a just society is governed. Even if there is no express order of court restraining the government, the fact that parties are already in court over the matter is a sufficient reason why the government must stay action. It is a cardinal principle of law that once an application for injunction is served, the parties should wait for the outcome of the application so as not to foist a fait accompli on the court. In view of the above, the Oyo State Government should not have carried out the demolition exercise.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has since settled this in the landmark case of Ojukwu v. Military Governor of Lagos State  1 NWLR (Pt.18) 621 that parties including state governments, must not resort to self-help and that the fact that a matter is in court is sufficient to restrain parties from taking the law into their hands.
It must be clear to the actors in government, being products of democratic rule, that they must at all times abide by and respect the Rule of Law.
The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch, therefore condemns this act of the Oyo State Government in its strongest term.
The Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch under our watch will continue to be in the vanguard of the promotion of the Rule of Law.