Fight between 85-yearold landlord, Lebanese firm over Lagos property gets messier

The property on 33 Balogun Road, Lagos, is in dispute. There are two claimants. Whilst the Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams’ relatives needs their asset handed back to them, the Lebanese agency, which supposedly leased it, claims the assets experienced prolonged been offered to them. Taiwo Hassan, who has been subsequent the disagreement, reviews

For the former Main Health care Director of Unity Medical center, Lagos, Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams, it’s been a tug-of-war trying to reclaim his inheritance. His father, late Clarence Olatunde Williams, inherited the assets 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, experienced leased the property to Mohammed El-Khalil and other individuals in 1953.

The lease was for 50 a long time. And the 10-storey building was on 3/5, Bankole Road, Lagos, at that time. The road had because been rearranged and it is now on 33 Balogun Street. Williams Snr. and his siblings had declared by themselves house owners of the aforementioned home by inheritance less than native rules and customs. But in 1953, they granted a 50-year lease of the house to Messrs Mohammed El-Khalil and Ramiz Moukarim.

Nonetheless, a very little about a few several years (1956) immediately after the execution of the 1953 lease, Moukarim and El-Khalil allegedly claimed to have out rightly acquired the residence from Williams’ father and his siblings the same brothers and sisters who manufactured the 1952 Declaration and signed the 1953 lease. But Williams has maintained that he had no awareness of the purported sale of the home, insisting that the Lebanese ended up occupying the creating underneath the 1953 lease.

At the expiration of the lease on March 31, 2003, the Lebanese, Williams explained, refused to vacate the residence, prompting him to formally notify them of the expiration of the lease, while at the very same time requesting them to vacate the house. Williams claimed: “We approached the Lebanese to get back again our property, but their response was disheartening. Instead of complying, they claimed that the property experienced been marketed to their progenitor a few years into the lease settlement. This, they said, was perfected in 1956.

They drew our attention to the 1956 Deed of Transfer less than which they claimed the residence was bought to them.” Anxious by the turn of events, the 85-year-outdated Williams executed a look for at the lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, but what he found out was much more confounding. It was discovered, according to him, that the Deed of Transfer of title was in fact registered by the Lebanese as the rightful proprietors of the assets, hardly a few years following the graduation of the 50-12 months lease by the Williams’ loved ones.

Not satisfied with what they noticed, the Williams went to attain a copy of the 1956 Deed of Transfer and forwarded same to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Nigerian Law enforcement, Alagbon, Lagos, for additional scrutiny and to confirm the authenticity of the signatures of his father and his father’s siblings and compared with individuals on the 1953 lease. Right after the evaluation of the forensic report, the Law enforcement concluded that the signatures on the 1956 supposed Deed of Transfer of title were fully different from these on the 1952 declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease.

They subsequently declared that the 1956 Deed of Transfer was solid. An additional 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 ought to have been the scenario.

It was also recognized that the Lebanese inadvertently misrepresented or wrongly described Williams’ aunt, Adenike Wilson, as “Anike Wilson” in the purported 1956 Deed of Transfer despite the point that in the 1952 Declaration and 1953 Lease, the similar aunt was continually described as Adenike Wilson. It was the mixture of the Law enforcement conclusions and these contradictions that prompted Williams to technique the Higher Court of Lagos Condition to seek to void it and to recover their family’s assets.

On March 8, 2012, the spouse and children commenced a go well with at the Higher Court of Lagos Condition, towards El-Khalil & Sons Qualities Confined and 3 others. They involved the personalized associates of the Estate of Mohammed El-Khalil, individual associates of the Estate of Ramiz Moukarim and the Registrar of Titles, Lands Registry of Lagos Condition as defendants. Williams experienced approached the court docket looking for repossession of the assets. The lawful struggle spanned 7 decades just before the court shipped its judgement in the go well with on December, 6, 2019, in favour of Williams and his family members.

A glance at the summary of the history upon which the lawful battle was fought as demonstrated in a courtroom document created offered to this newspaper indicated that Williams is a descendant of a person James Wilson, the initial proprietor of the assets in dispute. Incidentally, the Lebanese organization, according to Williams, experienced refused to hand in excess of the property to him and his family and has considering that been aggravating the courtroom get on the justification that they had appealed the judgement at the Court docket of Attraction, Lagos.

At the hearing of the fit, the two Williams and the Lebanese termed for forensic evidence in respect of the authenticity or otherwise 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 doctor identified as by the defendants testified below crossexamination in advance of the demo court docket that the signatures on the Deed of Transfer had been so diverse from the signatures on the 1953 Lease “that there was no foundation for any comparison involving the two sets of signatures.” Immediately after the judgement, the defendants submitted an enchantment at the Court docket of Appeal, Lagos Division, trying to find to overturn the ruling. They also utilized for a keep of execution of the judgement of the demo court docket pending the result of that attraction.

Nevertheless, at the hearing of the application for remain of execution, the defendants educated the trial court that they ended up prepared to deposit a lender assure with the registrar of the trial court for the judgement sum pending the outcome of their enchantment.

By the way, Williams did not oppose the defendants’ proposal that a bank assure really should be deposited in the account of the registrar of the court. He just additional a additional condition that the administration of the property should really be vested in a dependable estate management firm, while the attraction is pending just before the Courtroom of Charm. Apparently and notably, the defendants did not also item to or contest this added condition. In its ruling shipped on February 17, the demo court docket, between other points, granted a conditional keep in line with the proposals of the events. The judge manufactured an get to the impact that the judgement sum and desire accruing on it up till the judgement should really be deposited within just seven times through a financial institution draft in the title of the Chief Registrar of the Superior Court of Lagos Point out.

He also said that the administration of the house ought to be vested in a dependable estate agency to be appointed by the Chief Registrar of the Court. Having said that, the defendants, it was even further learnt, introduced a 2nd enchantment, this time, towards the purchase of conditional keep granted by the demo courtroom nearly on the defendants’ very own terms.

The defendants’ counsel, Chief Tunde Olojo of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co, on December 9, 2019, despatched a see with Enchantment No: Suit No: LD/331/2012 to the Courtroom of Attractiveness, Lagos, a duplicate of which is in possession of Saturday Telegraph. They, as a result of their lawyers, claimed they were dissatisfied with the determination of the Significant Court of Lagos Condition, contained in the judgement by Justice Candide-Johnson, sent on December 6, 2019.

According to Counsel to Khalil: “The acquired demo judge erred in regulation 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 trial did not convey any loss of life certificate to establish the demise of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. In the Notice of Enchantment, the 1st respondent did not also guide evidence 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 exhibit that the 3rd Appellant is a beneficiary of the estates of both of those 1st and 2nd Appellant. So, the discovered demo judge erred in law when he held that the 1st respondent has founded a situation of forgery from the 1st -3rd Appellants and that the doctrine of genuineness did not avail them.” In another twist nevertheless, Williams petitioned the Federal Governing administration by way of the Place of work of the Inspector General of Police (IGP). He specifically requested the IGP, Mohammad Adamu, to help you save him in the fingers of Lebanese descendants of El-Khalil, whom, he explained, have refused to release his family’s house just after the expiration of their 50-year-previous lease arrangement. The petition also addresses that of forgery, fraudulent conversion of home 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 boasting that the enterprise of M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Minimal cast a Deed of Transfer dated December 2, 1956, and has been professing ownership of and occupying his family’s assets due to the fact then based on the cast titled doc. Williams similarly claimed that the enterprise, M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Constrained, now managed by Francis Uzom of Frank Harden Constrained and Obinna Chima experienced relied on phony assert of ownership of the assets to pocket large funds operating into billions of naira in rents assortment from unsuspecting tenants at the house. “They have been making an attempt to market the claimed assets centered on the stated cast title documents,” he further alleged. He stated that his initiatives to warn the occupants of the house and the standard community, particularly probable residence purchasers about the assert of possession by M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Constrained, have led to various threats of demise directed at him by officers of the mentioned business. While responding to the weighty allegations, the Lebanese talking by way of their law firm, Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi and Kusamotu Olojo & Co, dismissed the death statements allegation in his interview with our reporter. According to him, “This is a lie that was very well fabricated. In actuality, the allegation is not only a lie, but also phony and baseless. It is a entire lie from the air.” Omoboriowo did not only garbage Williams’ statements on home forgery, but insisted that, “It is a fabricated lies that can’t be confirmed by him at the law court docket due to the fact M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Constrained is a company and if he is insisting that a enterprise forged a certification like he claimed, so why did not he appear out and mention a director (s) or staff members of the enterprise that did it in M. El-Khalil & SONS Homes Constrained and the so-called director or staff will arrive out publicly to take or deny that.” The lawyer spelled out that the claimant has no evidence of proof to that effect as he’s using the threat to lifetime as a ploy to acquire sympathy next his clients shift to enchantment the High Courtroom of Lagos Judgement. “There is no iota of reality in that,” he additional. Omoboriowo informed our reporter that the situation is currently in the Court docket of Attractiveness and that it is presently slated for listening to on December 14. “We are all set to consider it up to the Supreme Court docket due to the fact our purchasers have a sturdy scenario to upturn the judgement in their favour pursuing the slim victory that Williams is having fun with in excess of the Superior Court docket judgement that gave him one of the lands on the property.” On the coming December 14, Enchantment hearing, Omoboriowo claimed: “My clientele have a solid case from him to upturn the judgement as a matter of simple fact. That is why we are treading the line of professionalism, the line of the law and not resorting to push, police and here and there. He’s the a person that goes about speaking as old as he is. We are going to upturn it by the grace of God. The situation is still going to the Supreme Court docket and we are heading to overturn the original judgement it is just a slender victory he has now.” Not long ago, Williams has also complained of other alleged underhand dealings by the Lebanese. For instance, for the duration of the period of time when the case was before the demo court, he reported, the defendants, less than the guise of a bogus settlement initiative, delayed the listening to of the scenario for a sizeable duration of time. He also claimed that the Lebanese at some place re-configured the assets to accommodate a lot more tenants from whom rents running into hundreds of hundreds of thousands were being gathered by the defendants. Following the defendants were being completed with the configuration of the residence and experienced permit out the newly included areas to tenants, all pretences in direction of amicable settlement of the dispute with Williams had been finished absent with by them as they returned to announce to the demo court docket that the settlement initiative failed. All over again, although their two appeals were being pending just before the Courtroom of Enchantment, the defendants allegedly begun boasting to the tenants in the making and the people in the speedy natural environment that they have been ready to maintain the scenario in court indefinitely by means of the attraction procedure. They even pointed to the notoriously sluggish judicial approach in the state, to push home their stage, Williams alleged. “They claimed that specified my state-of-the-art age, it is pretty much unattainable for me to see the close of the situation in my life span,” he further more explained to our reporter. But the threats and needs of loss of life notwithstanding, Williams thinks that the similar Almighty God, who kept him alive through the duration of the case at the demo court, would maintain him by the charm procedures until finally his final vindication by the Courtroom of Attraction, and if want be, the Supreme Court. Williams claimed that he was steadfast in his perception that although the wheels of justice could switch gradually, they do, in simple fact, change exceedingly wonderful, stating that his faith in God and the judicial technique had never been stronger. Omoboriowo even so, described that his clients’ corporation has been in possession and occupation of the exact residence since 1966 without the need of any challenge or disturbance from Williams’ alleged predecessors’ intitle or the Claimant. He insisted that his firm carried out a general repair in the tune of N150 million for the trespass and lawful execution carried out by the Claimant and/or his brokers on the influenced property in December 2009. According to him, the Claimant lacks the locus standi to institute or commence any circumstance against them in that he is not a celebration to any of the transactions (title paperwork) when signing the deed of arrangement in 1953 was carried out. Assistant residence manager of M. El-Khalil & Sons (homes) Constrained, Obinna Chima, on his portion claimed that there is absolutely nothing in any of the paperwork put before the Court by Williams from whom the Courtroom could find or infer any connection or link between the Claimant and his alleged predecessors-in-title. This, the Lebanese’ legal professionals, agreed with, when they reported that this action is statute barred in that the lead to of motion which is complicated the authenticity of the Deed of transfer of Freehold dated November 2, 1956, arose 55 years ago. The acquired attorney argued that this fit amounts to an abuse of the approach of the Court docket in that the notices to quit and see of owner’s intent to implement to get better possession on which this motion is launched ended up purportedly served throughout the pendency of match No LD/2144/05 (Dr. C.O. Williams vs M. El-Khalil & ORS) in which the mentioned match, parties and the matter subject are the similar as in the prompt accommodate and also a Detect of Attractiveness submitted by the Claimant which has not been withdrawn. Even so, a pay a visit to to the house in concern by our reporter, showed that it is a 10-storey creating with store space ranging from N3 million to N15 million for each annum with traders of all kinds occupying the house. The traders offer mostly sneakers, luggage, leather, outfits, jewelry extras, and occupy every single floor of the building.

 

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