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Association of Private Practicing Surveyors of Nigeria has accused the Lagos State Surveyor-General of refusing to obey a judgment of a Federal High Court which held that registered surveyors can practice their trade without the consent of a state surveyor-general.
Justice Daniel Osiagor in the August 2, 2022 judgment held that the Surveyor-General of Lagos State lacks the power to deny the plaintiffs or any registered surveyor consent to survey any parcel of land in Lagos State (whether owned by the state government, corporate bodies or private individuals).
He held that the Surveyor-General of Lagos State also lacks the power to reject copies of survey plans submitted by the plaintiffs (and every other registered surveyor in Nigeria) for lodgement; does not have the power to demand and/or insist on counter-signing a survey plan prepared by a registered surveyor, and nullified Section 5 of the Survey Law of Lagos State, which required surveyors to obtain written consent of the surveyor-general before surveying any state land.
The surveyor-general has since appealed Justice Osiagor’s decision in suit FHC/L/CS/1789/2020.
But the surveyors, under the auspices of ASPPSN, alleged that the state’s surveyor-general had yet to comply, stating that they would be forced to file a contempt charge.
The surveyors are Adaranijo Rafiu; Mrs Aluko Sikirat; Adedeji Olarewaju; Adams Olugbenga; Mekuleyi Samuel and Fashina Adedapo.
Rafiu, who is the chairman of the association, stated that a subsisting order of the court must be obeyed by all, no matter how lowly or highly placed in society.
He called on the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, to call on the state surveyor-general to obey the court order and stop controlling survey practice in the state.
“No surveyor-general has any right to stop private practising Surveyor from working on any parcel of land in the state, whether owned by the state government, corporate body or private individual and there must never be any counter signature on any plan again.
“The state government, offices of the state surveyors-general and the Department of Survey and Mapping, F.C.T, Abuja have no powers to issue any pillar number for Survey work whether Government, Corporate or Privately owned parcel of Land.”
But the Lagos State Surveyor-General, in its September 7 notice of appeal, challenged the entire judgment of Justice Osiagor, raising eight grounds for appeal.
It claimed that the judge erred in law when it, among others, assumed jurisdiction over the suit and asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment, “in its entirety.”