Alleged rights breach: NIS members drag Lagos Surveyor General, others to court 

Members of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) have dragged the Lagos State Surveyor-General, the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON) and Lagos State Attorney- General before the Federal High Court, Lagos over alleged breach of the constitution and SURCON Act.

Their grievance stemmed from the recent appointment of seven surveyors by the Surveyor- General of the state as the only surveyors to carry out surveys in the Mende Revocations Area, Maryland, in Lagos State.

In the originating summons dated December 10, 2020 but obtained at the weekend, the applicants, namely; Adaranijo Ganiyu Rafiu, Mrs. Aluko Kikelomo Sikirat, Adedeji Olanrewaju, Adams Benjamin Olugbenga, Mekuleyi Samuel, Aliu Samuel and Fashina Adedapo contended that the manner which the practice of surveying were being carried out especially in Lagos State over the years, seems inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the SURCON Act, and the guidelines/regulations of SURCON  on the practice of surveying  in the country.

However, in swift response, one of the appointed surveyors, who spoke to Nigerian Tribune in confidence when called on his mobile telephone, said the aggrieved members did not discuss with anybody or the institution before they took the case to court.

He said: Are they saying the surveyor-general of Lagos State did not have the right to appoint surveyors for certain jobs in the state.

“Anyway, there is no way we will stop them from exercising their right. We also have the right to defend, but let the court decide for us.”

Apart from the Lagos Surveyor-General and attorney- General, the suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1789/2020, has the Attorney – General of the Federation, the Surveyors Council of Nigeria, the seven appointed surveyors, namely; Olatunbosun David, Adesina Adeleke, Odetunmobi Olufemi, Egbeyemi Latif,  Akomolafe . A, Mrs Akintaro. O.O, and Michael Alonge as defendants.

The plaintiffs, who sue for themselves and on behalf of all other surveyors in Lagos State, The plaintiffs submitted that the engagement of third – ninth defendants as the only surveyors in Lagos to carry out surveys in the Mende Revocation Area Maryland, Lagos State constitutes a gross violation of the provision of section 19(1) of the SURCON Act, which unequivocally guarantee the right of the plaintiffs and every other registered surveyor to practice anywhere in Nigeria.

Subsequently, they want the court to set aside the appointment of the surveyors listed as third to ninth defendants in the suit as well as and restrain the defendants from perpetually acting on that basis.

They are also seeking judicial interpretation of the Federal and Lagos State Statutes/Laws, as it affects the validity or otherwise of current practice of surveying in the state.

In the   originating summons supported by a 37-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Adaranijo Ganiyu Rafiu, the first plaintiff and accompanied by 15 exhibits, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether having regard to Section4 (4) and paragraph 25 and 26, part 11 of the second schedule of the

1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and Sections 1 and 4 of the Surveyors Council of Nigeria Act CAP S18, LFN 2004 (SURCON Act), the second defendant (SURCON) has the powers to issue the guidelines  for the conduct of survey practice in  Nigeria 2020 in exercise of its powers to regulate and control survey practice in  Nigeria.

They also want the court to determine whether having regard to the provisions of Section 4(a), (b), (c), (d), of the SURCON Act, the second defendant (SURCON) has the powers to issue the guidelines for the conduct of survey practice in Nigeria 2020 in exercise of its powers to regulate and control survey practice in Nigeria.

The plaintiffs further want the court to determine whether having regard to Sections 2 and 4 of the SURCON Act, the Lagos state Surveyor-General, who is a member of the second defendant is bound to follow and apply the guidelines for the conduct of survey practice in Nigeria 2020 in exercise of its powers to regulate and control survey practice in Nigeria 2020 in Lagos State.

The plaintiffs submitted that the engagement of third – ninth defendants as the only surveyors in Lagos to carry out surveys in the Mende Revocation Area Maryland, Lagos State constitutes a gross violation of the provision of section 19(1) of the SURCON Act, which unequivocally guarantee the right of the plaintiffs and every other registered surveyor to practice anywhere in Nigeria.

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