Surveyors to appeal ruling on real estate regulation

Following the judgement of the Federal High Court empowering Lagos State Government to regulate real estate transactions within the state, the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Regulatory Board of Nigeria says it will go for appeal.

Confirming the development to Financial Street yesterday, the Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Saheed Makinde, said the institute’s regulatory body, ESVARBON, reached the decision after consulting with their lawyers.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court had, on March 22, 2021, struck out the originating motion filed by ESVARBON and NIESV challenging Lagos government’s authority to regulate the real estate sector.

The applicants had, in the suit, with the Lagos government and its Attorney General as first and second respondents, claimed that they were the ‘sole body’ created by law in Nigeria to determine who become estate surveyors and valuers.

While quoting Section 2 of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, Act Cap E13 LFN 2007 and Section 1 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, ESVARBON asserted that it was unconstitutional for the state to create Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Authority to register all estate surveyors and valuers practising in the state.

The applicants also argued that under Section 4 (6) – (9) of the 1999 Constitution or any other Section or Schedule of the same Constitution, the Lagos House of Assembly lacked the legislative power to enact a bill to regulate the practice of estate surveying and valuation.

The applicants supported their application with a 24-paragraph affidavit with seven exhibits attached, sworn to by one Felix Ikre, an assistant registrar in the first applicant’s office.

They asked the court to restrain the respondents from continuing to interfere or usurp the office or statutory duties of the first applicant as provided for by the law under any guise in the registration or regulation of the second applicant’s members in Lagos.

Also, they urged the court to award N10m against the respondents, being the cost for prosecuting the action in court.

While defending their action, the respondents filed a 28-paragraph counter-affidavit deposed to by one Bosede Fasayede, a Chief State Counsel in the attorney general’s chambers, with an exhibit attached and marked “Exhibit LASG” as well as a written address dated and filed on November 30, 2020.

Lagos further called on all practitioners to abide by the LASRERA law and register with the agency in line with the determination of the government to protect the general public, and ensure genuine persons and organisations possess the required platform to practice their trade.

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