The house on 33 Balogun Avenue, Lagos, is in dispute. There are two claimants. Whilst the Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams’ family members needs their asset handed back to them, the Lebanese business, which supposedly leased it, claims the house experienced very long been offered to them. Taiwo Hassan, who has been following the disagreement, stories
For the former Chief Medical Director of Unity Healthcare facility, Lagos, Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams, it is been a tug-of-war seeking to reclaim his inheritance. His father, late Clarence Olatunde Williams, inherited the property with his siblings from their own father, James Wilson. His father, and his uncle, Charles Adeyinka Wilson, as properly as his aunts, Florence Aduke Bajomo (Nee Williams) and Adenike Wilson, had leased the house to Mohammed El-Khalil and other people in 1953.
The lease was for 50 years. And the 10-storey developing was on 3/5, Bankole Avenue, Lagos, at that time. The avenue had considering the fact that been rearranged and it is now on 33 Balogun Avenue. Williams Snr. and his siblings experienced declared by themselves owners of the aforementioned home by inheritance below indigenous guidelines and customs. But in 1953, they granted a 50-12 months lease of the home to Messrs Mohammed El-Khalil and Ramiz Moukarim.
However, a tiny about 3 several years (1956) soon after the execution of the 1953 lease, Moukarim and El-Khalil allegedly claimed to have out rightly obtained the property from Williams’ father and his siblings the very same brothers and sisters who built the 1952 Declaration and signed the 1953 lease. But Williams has managed that he had no awareness of the purported sale of the house, insisting that the Lebanese were occupying the building below the 1953 lease.
At the expiration of the lease on March 31, 2003, the Lebanese, Williams claimed, refused to vacate the property, prompting him to formally notify them of the expiration of the lease, although at the identical time requesting them to vacate the residence. Williams explained: “We approached the Lebanese to get back again our property, but their reaction was disheartening. Instead of complying, they claimed that the residence had been sold to their progenitor three yrs into the lease agreement. This, they mentioned, was perfected in 1956.
They drew our consideration to the 1956 Deed of Transfer less than which they claimed the residence was bought to them.” Concerned by the convert of events, the 85-12 months-aged Williams carried out a look for at the lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, but what he discovered out was extra confounding. It was found, in accordance to him, that the Deed of Transfer of title was indeed registered by the Lebanese as the rightful entrepreneurs of the house, scarcely 3 years immediately after the graduation of the 50-calendar year lease by the Williams’ family members.
Not satisfied with what they observed, the Williams went to get hold of a duplicate of the 1956 Deed of Transfer and forwarded similar to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Nigerian Law enforcement, Alagbon, Lagos, for further scrutiny and to verify the authenticity of the signatures of his father and his father’s siblings and in contrast with people on the 1953 lease. Soon after the assessment of the forensic report, the Police concluded that the signatures on the 1956 meant Deed of Transfer of title were being completely various from people on the 1952 declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease.
They subsequently declared that the 1956 Deed of Transfer was forged. A different seeming abnormality that caught Williams’ eyes was the failure of the 1956 Deed of Transfer to cancel or even make any sort of reference to the 1953 Deed of Lease, which ordinarily should to have been the situation.
It was also seen that the Lebanese inadvertently misrepresented or wrongly described Williams’ aunt, Adenike Wilson, as “Anike Wilson” in the purported 1956 Deed of Transfer despite the simple fact that in the 1952 Declaration and 1953 Lease, the similar aunt was regularly described as Adenike Wilson. It was the mix of the Police findings and these contradictions that prompted Williams to strategy the Higher Courtroom of Lagos Condition to find to void it and to recover their family’s house.
On March 8, 2012, the family members commenced a suit at the Large Courtroom of Lagos Condition, versus El-Khalil & Sons Qualities Confined and a few many others. They included the private associates of the Estate of Mohammed El-Khalil, own representatives of the Estate of Ramiz Moukarim and the Registrar of Titles, Lands Registry of Lagos Condition as defendants. Williams had approached the court looking for repossession of the house. The lawful struggle spanned 7 years ahead of the court docket delivered its judgement in the accommodate on December, 6, 2019, in favour of Williams and his loved ones.
A search at the summary of the history on which the authorized battle was fought as shown in a court doc built obtainable to this newspaper indicated that Williams is a descendant of one particular James Wilson, the first owner of the house in dispute. Incidentally, the Lebanese firm, according to Williams, experienced refused to hand around the property to him and his relatives and has considering that been irritating the court order on the justification that they had appealed the judgement at the Court of Enchantment, Lagos.
At the hearing of the fit, both of those Williams and the Lebanese named for forensic proof in regard of the authenticity or in any other case of the signatures on the 1956 Deed of Transfer as compared to the signatures on the 1952 Declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease. But in a fairly strange twist, the forensic physician known as by the defendants testified underneath crossexamination before the trial court that the signatures on the Deed of Transfer ended up so distinctive from the signatures on the 1953 Lease “that there was no foundation for any comparison in between the two sets of signatures.” Following the judgement, the defendants submitted an enchantment at the Court docket of Attraction, Lagos Division, in search of to overturn the ruling. They also used for a continue to be of execution of the judgement of the demo court pending the result of that charm.
Nevertheless, at the listening to of the software for continue to be of execution, the defendants educated the demo court that they were being geared up to deposit a lender assurance with the registrar of the trial courtroom for the judgement sum pending the result of their attractiveness.
Incidentally, Williams did not oppose the defendants’ proposal that a lender warranty really should be deposited in the account of the registrar of the court. He merely extra a further condition that the management of the residence must be vested in a trustworthy estate administration agency, whilst the appeal is pending just before the Courtroom of Attraction. Apparently and notably, the defendants did not also object to or contest this additional issue. In its ruling shipped on February 17, the demo court, among the other points, granted a conditional stay in line with the proposals of the parties. The decide built an order to the impact that the judgement sum and fascination accruing on it up until the judgement really should be deposited in just 7 days through a bank draft in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Significant Courtroom of Lagos Condition.
He also mentioned that the administration of the home really should be vested in a reliable estate firm to be appointed by the Chief Registrar of the Courtroom. Having said that, the defendants, it was further learnt, released a second enchantment, this time, versus the order of conditional stay granted by the trial court just about on the defendants’ possess phrases.
The defendants’ counsel, Chief Tunde Olojo of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co, on December 9, 2019, despatched a notice with Charm No: Fit No: LD/331/2012 to the Courtroom of Appeal, Lagos, a copy of which is in possession of Saturday Telegraph. They, as a result of their lawyers, stated they were dissatisfied with the conclusion of the Substantial Court of Lagos State, contained in the judgement by Justice Candide-Johnson, delivered on December 6, 2019.
In accordance to Counsel to Khalil: “The discovered trial choose erred in law when he held that 1st Respondent- Dr. C.O Williams has the locus standi to institute the motion for and on behalf of the alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. The 1st respondent during the demo did not deliver any loss of life certification to build the demise of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. In the Observe of Attractiveness, the 1st respondent did not also guide proof of any probate/letter of administration as the executor/beneficiary of the estate of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. “Also, the 1st respondent did not tender any letter of Administration to clearly show that the 3rd Appellant is a beneficiary of the estates of both 1st and 2nd Appellant. So, the figured out demo decide erred in law when he held that the 1st respondent has set up a case of forgery from the 1st -3rd Appellants and that the doctrine of genuineness did not avail them.” In a further twist nevertheless, Williams petitioned the Federal Federal government by means of the Business office of the Inspector Normal of Law enforcement (IGP). He especially requested the IGP, Mohammad Adamu, to save him in the fingers of Lebanese descendants of El-Khalil, whom, he reported, have refused to launch his family’s residence just after the expiration of their 50-yr-aged lease arrangement. The petition also addresses that of forgery, fraudulent conversion of residence and obtaining by pressure pretence. In the petition dated August 28, and duly signed by him, a copy of which was produced available to Saturday Telegraph, showed that he was declaring that the company of M. El-Khalil & Sons Qualities Limited cast a Deed of Transfer dated December 2, 1956, and has been proclaiming possession of and occupying his family’s property considering that then dependent on the forged titled document. Williams equally claimed that the enterprise, M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Minimal, now managed by Francis Uzom of Frank Harden Minimal and Obinna Chima experienced relied on wrong declare of possession of the property to pocket big cash running into billions of naira in rents collection from unsuspecting tenants at the home. “They have been making an attempt to offer the stated house dependent on the claimed cast title documents,” he additional alleged. He reported that his initiatives to warn the occupants of the house and the common general public, particularly opportunity residence potential buyers about the claim of possession by M. El-Khalil & Sons Qualities Restricted, have led to numerous threats of demise directed at him by officers of the reported organization. Whilst responding to the weighty allegations, the Lebanese speaking as a result of their attorney, Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi and Kusamotu Olojo & Co, dismissed the loss of life statements allegation in his interview with our reporter. In accordance to him, “This is a lie that was nicely fabricated. In fact, the allegation is not only a lie, but also bogus and baseless. It is a complete lie from the air.” Omoboriowo did not only rubbish Williams’ promises on home forgery, but insisted that, “It is a fabricated lies that are unable to be confirmed by him at the legislation court mainly because M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Confined is a corporation and if he is insisting that a organization cast a certificate like he claimed, so why did not he occur out and point out a director (s) or employees of the corporation that did it in M. El-Khalil & SONS Properties Limited and the so-termed director or team will come out publicly to acknowledge or deny that.” The law firm stated that the claimant has no proof of proof to that result as he’s utilizing the danger to life as a ploy to achieve sympathy adhering to his purchasers transfer to appeal the Large Court of Lagos Judgement. “There is no iota of reality in that,” he extra. Omoboriowo informed our reporter that the situation is now in the Courtroom of Attraction and that it is presently slated for hearing on December 14. “We are ready to just take it up to the Supreme Court docket because our customers have a potent case to upturn the judgement in their favour next the slim victory that Williams is experiencing around the Superior Courtroom judgement that gave him just one of the lands on the residence.” On the coming December 14, Attraction hearing, Omoboriowo explained: “My customers have a potent scenario in opposition to him to upturn the judgement as a subject of point. That is why we are treading the line of professionalism, the line of the regulation and not resorting to press, law enforcement and right here and there. He’s the one that goes about conversing as previous as he is. We are going to upturn it by the grace of God. The situation is even now going to the Supreme Court and we are likely to overturn the first judgement it is just a slim victory he has now.” A short while ago, Williams has also complained of other alleged underhand dealings by the Lebanese. For occasion, throughout the time period when the circumstance was just before the demo courtroom, he claimed, the defendants, underneath the guise of a bogus settlement initiative, delayed the listening to of the circumstance for a substantial duration of time. He also claimed that the Lebanese at some issue re-configured the house to accommodate additional tenants from whom rents running into hundreds of hundreds of thousands ended up gathered by the defendants. Soon after the defendants ended up accomplished with the configuration of the property and experienced permit out the recently additional areas to tenants, all pretences towards amicable settlement of the dispute with Williams ended up performed absent with by them as they returned to announce to the trial court that the settlement initiative unsuccessful. All over again, though their two appeals were pending before the Court of Charm, the defendants allegedly started boasting to the tenants in the building and the people in the rapid surroundings that they ended up geared up to retain the case in court docket indefinitely by means of the appeal approach. They even pointed to the notoriously sluggish judicial procedure in the place, to drive dwelling their point, Williams alleged. “They claimed that supplied my sophisticated age, it is almost difficult for me to see the finish of the situation in my life span,” he additional instructed our reporter. But the threats and wishes of loss of life notwithstanding, Williams thinks that the exact same Almighty God, who kept him alive through the period of the situation at the demo court docket, would maintain him by the attractiveness procedures right up until his last vindication by the Court of Attractiveness, and if require be, the Supreme Court docket. Williams said that he was steadfast in his belief that nevertheless the wheels of justice may turn gradually, they do, in fact, change exceedingly fantastic, declaring that his religion in God and the judicial process experienced hardly ever been more powerful. Omoboriowo even so, defined that his clients’ company has been in possession and profession of the very same residence considering the fact that 1966 without the need of any obstacle or disturbance from Williams’ alleged predecessors’ intitle or the Claimant. He insisted that his firm carried out a common fix in the tune of N150 million for the trespass and lawful execution carried out by the Claimant and/or his brokers on the influenced home in December 2009. In accordance to him, the Claimant lacks the locus standi to institute or commence any situation towards them in that he is not a celebration to any of the transactions (title documents) when signing the deed of settlement in 1953 was carried out. Assistant residence manager of M. El-Khalil & Sons (attributes) Minimal, Obinna Chima, on his component claimed that there is almost nothing in any of the documents positioned before the Court docket by Williams from whom the Courtroom could come across or infer any partnership or relationship between the Claimant and his alleged predecessors-in-title. This, the Lebanese’ lawyers, agreed with, when they reported that this action is statute barred in that the cause of action which is difficult the authenticity of the Deed of transfer of Freehold dated November 2, 1956, arose 55 years ago. The realized attorney argued that this match amounts to an abuse of the procedure of the Court docket in that the notices to quit and see of owner’s intent to use to recover possession upon which this action is launched were being purportedly served during the pendency of fit No LD/2144/05 (Dr. C.O. Williams vs M. El-Khalil & ORS) in which the claimed suit, get-togethers and the topic issue are the very same as in the quick go well with and also a Discover of Attraction filed by the Claimant which has not been withdrawn. Even so, a go to to the home in concern by our reporter, confirmed that it is a 10-storey building with shop room ranging from N3 million to N15 million per annum with traders of all sorts occupying the property. The traders offer largely sneakers, baggage, leather-based, clothes, jewelry accessories, and occupy each flooring of the building.
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