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You Can’t Regulate Survey Practice, Court Tells Lagos’ Surveyor-general

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Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos has declared that the Lagos State Surveyor-General cannot regulate survey practices in the state, saying it is only the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON) that is statutorily empowered to carry out the function.

 

Justice Osiagor, t.fore nullified and voided Section 5 of the Survey Law of Lagos State, which requires surveyors to obtain written consent of the state’s Surveyor General, before they can carry out a survey on any state land or land acquired by the Lagos State government.

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The judge further declared that the Lagos State House of Assembly acted unconstitutionally, in enacting the said section of the survey Law.

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The court made the declarations while delivering judgement in a suit filed by seven Surveyors, Adaranijo Ibikunle Ganiyu Rafiu, Aluko Kikelomo Sikirat (Mrs.), Adedeji Olarewaju, Adams Benjamin Olugbenga, Mekuleyi Oluseyi Samuel, Aliu Samuel, and Fashina Adedapo against the Surveyor General of Lagos State and 10 others.
Other defendants in the suit are, Surveyors Council of Nigeria, Surveyors Olatunbosun David, Adesina Adeleke, Akomolafe A.O, Odetunmobi O. Olufemi, Mrs. Akintaro, Michael Adebisi Alonge, Egbeyemi Lateef, the Attorney General of Lagos State, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

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The plaintiff had in originating summons dated December 11, 2020 urged the court to determine if having regard to Section 4(4) and items 25 and 26 Part Il 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 2nd Defendant is the only body or authority vested with the powers to regulate and control the practice and the profession of surveying throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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However, in their notice of preliminary objection, the first, third to 10th defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

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In his judgement, Justice Osiagor dismissed the preliminary objection and held that ‘’The SURCON Act, being an enactment of the National Assembly is under the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.’’

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