Federal High Court in Lagos has affirmed the powers of the Lagos State Government to regulate the practice of real estate transactions within the State.
A statement signed by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), noted that the judgment delivered on March 22, 2021, by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, struck out the originating motion filed by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) and the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors And Valuers (NIESV) to challenge the authority of the State government to regulate the sector.
According to him, the applicants – ESVARBON and NIESV – had filed the suit against the Lagos State Government and the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), who were listed as first and second respondents respectively, claiming that they are the ‘sole body’ created by Law in Nigeria to determine persons who are to become Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
His words: “The first applicant claimed that by virtue of 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, it was unconstitutional for Lagos State Government to create an entity known as the Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) that compels registration of all Estate Surveyors and Valuers practising in the State.
“The applicants had also argued that under Section 4 (6) – (9) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or any other Section or Schedule of the same Constitution, the Lagos State House of Assembly lacked the legislative power to enact a bill to regulate the practice of estate surveying and valuation”, he added.
The Commissioner also averred that, consequently, the applicants sought an order of the court restraining the respondents whether by themselves, agents, servants and/or privies from implementing, enforcing, in any way or manner whatsoever and howsoever giving effect or further effect to the directives of compulsory registration with Lagos State Government.
Onigbanjo said Justice Aneke struck out the originating motion for lacking in merit and upheld the powers of the Lagos State Government to establish a Regulatory Agency for Estate Agents trading in Lagos State.
By the ruling, the Lagos State Government called on all practitioners to abide by the Lagos State Estate Regulatory Authority (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.