April 23, 2024

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

The assets on 33 Balogun Avenue, Lagos, is in dispute. There are two claimants. Whilst the Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams’ family members wishes their asset handed back again to them, the Lebanese agency, which supposedly leased it, claims the home had long been bought to them. Taiwo Hassan, who has been pursuing the disagreement, stories

For the former Main Health-related Director of Unity Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams, it’s been a tug-of-war making an attempt to reclaim his inheritance. His father, late Clarence Olatunde Williams, inherited the house with his siblings from their individual father, James Wilson. His father, and his uncle, Charles Adeyinka Wilson, as very well as his aunts, Florence Aduke Bajomo (Nee Williams) and Adenike Wilson, experienced leased the house to Mohammed El-Khalil and others in 1953.

The lease was for 50 yrs. And the 10-storey making 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 had declared by themselves entrepreneurs of the aforementioned home by inheritance beneath indigenous laws and customs. But in 1953, they granted a 50-year lease of the house to Messrs Mohammed El-Khalil and Ramiz Moukarim.

Nonetheless, a tiny around a few many years (1956) immediately after the execution of the 1953 lease, Moukarim and El-Khalil allegedly claimed to have out rightly procured the home from Williams’ father and his siblings the similar brothers and sisters who created the 1952 Declaration and signed the 1953 lease. But Williams has managed that he had no awareness of the purported sale of the property, insisting that the Lebanese have been occupying the developing less than 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, while at the exact time requesting them to vacate the property. Williams claimed: “We approached the Lebanese to get again our property, but their response was disheartening. Rather of complying, they claimed that the residence had been marketed to their progenitor 3 yrs into the lease settlement. This, they claimed, was perfected in 1956.

They drew our attention to the 1956 Deed of Transfer below which they claimed the house was marketed to them.” Fearful by the switch of events, the 85-calendar year-old Williams done a lookup at the lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, but what he discovered out was additional confounding. It was discovered, according to him, that the Deed of Transfer of title was indeed registered by the Lebanese as the rightful proprietors of the residence, scarcely three a long time following the graduation of the 50-year lease by the Williams’ family.

Not glad with what they saw, the Williams went to obtain a copy of the 1956 Deed of Transfer and forwarded similar to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Nigerian Law enforcement, Alagbon, Lagos, for even further scrutiny and to validate the authenticity of the signatures of his father and his father’s siblings and in contrast with these on the 1953 lease. After the investigation of the forensic report, the Law enforcement concluded that the signatures on the 1956 intended Deed of Transfer of title were totally unique from individuals on the 1952 declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease.

They subsequently declared that the 1956 Deed of Transfer was solid. A further seeming abnormality that caught Williams’ eyes was the failure of the 1956 Deed of Transfer to terminate or even make any kind of reference to the 1953 Deed of Lease, which ordinarily ought to have been the circumstance.

It was also seen that the Lebanese inadvertently misrepresented or wrongly explained 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 consistently described as Adenike Wilson. It was the blend of the Police findings and these contradictions that prompted Williams to solution the Superior Court of Lagos Condition to seek out to void it and to get well their family’s property.

On March 8, 2012, the relatives commenced a suit at the Substantial Court docket of Lagos Condition, versus El-Khalil & Sons Properties Confined and a few some others. They provided the own associates of the Estate of Mohammed El-Khalil, personal representatives of the Estate of Ramiz Moukarim and the Registrar of Titles, Lands Registry of Lagos State as defendants. Williams experienced approached the court searching for repossession of the assets. The lawful fight spanned seven decades prior to the courtroom shipped its judgement in the suit on December, 6, 2019, in favour of Williams and his loved ones.

A glimpse at the summary of the track record on which the authorized battle was fought as proven in a court document made accessible to this newspaper indicated that Williams is a descendant of one particular James Wilson, the original owner of the home in dispute. By the way, the Lebanese agency, according to Williams, experienced refused to hand more than the home to him and his relatives and has due to the fact been irritating the court docket buy on the excuse that they experienced appealed the judgement at the Court of Enchantment, Lagos.

At the listening to of the accommodate, each Williams and the Lebanese identified as for forensic proof in respect of the authenticity or if not 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 somewhat strange twist, the forensic health practitioner known as by the defendants testified less than crossexamination right before the demo court that the signatures on the Deed of Transfer were being so distinct from the signatures on the 1953 Lease “that there was no basis for any comparison involving the two sets of signatures.” After the judgement, the defendants filed an appeal at the Courtroom of Attraction, Lagos Division, trying to find to overturn the ruling. They also utilized for a continue to be of execution of the judgement of the trial court docket pending the result of that enchantment.

Nevertheless, at the listening to of the application for keep of execution, the defendants educated the trial court that they were being ready to deposit a lender assurance with the registrar of the trial court for the judgement sum pending the consequence of their attraction.

Incidentally, Williams did not oppose the defendants’ proposal that a financial institution ensure need to be deposited in the account of the registrar of the court docket. He just included a even further ailment that the administration of the residence ought to be vested in a reliable estate administration business, even though the attraction is pending prior to the Court of Enchantment. Apparently and notably, the defendants did not also item to or contest this additional problem. In its ruling sent on February 17, the trial court docket, amid other items, granted a conditional continue to be in line with the proposals of the events. The choose created an purchase to the outcome that the judgement sum and interest accruing on it up till the judgement ought to be deposited inside seven days by way of a bank draft in the title of the Chief Registrar of the Large Court of Lagos Point out.

He also claimed that the administration of the residence need to be vested in a dependable estate agency to be appointed by the Main Registrar of the Court. On the other hand, the defendants, it was additional learnt, introduced a 2nd charm, this time, towards the buy of conditional continue to be granted by the trial courtroom virtually on the defendants’ personal phrases.

The defendants’ counsel, Chief Tunde Olojo of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co, on December 9, 2019, sent a discover with Appeal No: Match No: LD/331/2012 to the Court of Charm, Lagos, a copy of which is in possession of Saturday Telegraph. They, as a result of their lawyers, reported they ended up dissatisfied with the conclusion of the Large Courtroom of Lagos State, contained in the judgement by Justice Candide-Johnson, delivered on December 6, 2019.

In accordance to Counsel to Khalil: “The acquired trial choose erred in regulation when he held that 1st Respondent- Dr. C.O Williams has the locus standi to institute the action for and on behalf of the alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. The 1st respondent in the course of the trial did not bring any demise certificate to establish the demise of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. In the See of Appeal, the 1st respondent did not also direct 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 the two 1st and 2nd Appellant. So, the uncovered trial decide erred in legislation when he held that the 1st respondent has proven a circumstance of forgery in opposition to the 1st -3rd Appellants and that the doctrine of genuineness did not avail them.” In a different twist nonetheless, Williams petitioned the Federal Authorities by means of the Business of the Inspector Standard of Police (IGP). He specially requested the IGP, Mohammad Adamu, to help save him in the hands of Lebanese descendants of El-Khalil, whom, he claimed, have refused to launch his family’s home after the expiration of their 50-calendar year-outdated lease settlement. The petition also covers that of forgery, fraudulent conversion of assets and obtaining by power pretence. In the petition dated August 28, and duly signed by him, a duplicate of which was designed out there to Saturday Telegraph, showed that he was proclaiming that the enterprise of M. El-Khalil & Sons Qualities Confined forged a Deed of Transfer dated December 2, 1956, and has been professing ownership of and occupying his family’s house since then centered on the forged titled document. Williams similarly claimed that the corporation, M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Restricted, now managed by Francis Uzom of Frank Harden Constrained and Obinna Chima had relied on phony declare of ownership of the property to pocket big dollars operating into billions of naira in rents selection from unsuspecting tenants at the home. “They have been trying to promote the stated house based on the stated cast title files,” he even further alleged. He claimed that his efforts to warn the occupants of the assets and the normal general public, in particular possible property consumers about the claim of ownership by M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Confined, have led to a number of threats of dying directed at him by officers of the claimed firm. When responding to the weighty allegations, the Lebanese talking by their lawyer, Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi and Kusamotu Olojo & Co, dismissed the loss of life claims allegation in his job interview with our reporter. According to him, “This is a lie that was very well fabricated. In simple fact, the allegation is not only a lie, but also bogus and baseless. It is a entire lie from the air.” Omoboriowo did not only rubbish Williams’ promises on property forgery, but insisted that, “It is a fabricated lies that can not be tested by him at the regulation court due to the fact M. El-Khalil & Sons Properties Restricted is a corporation and if he is insisting that a enterprise cast a certification like he claimed, so why didn’t he come out and point out a director (s) or employees of the corporation that did it in M. El-Khalil & SONS Qualities Limited and the so-termed director or staff members will arrive out publicly to acknowledge or deny that.” The attorney defined that the claimant has no proof of evidence to that influence as he’s employing the menace to existence as a ploy to achieve sympathy subsequent his consumers go to enchantment the Substantial Courtroom of Lagos Judgement. “There is no iota of fact in that,” he extra. Omoboriowo instructed our reporter that the scenario is previously in the Court of Enchantment and that it is already slated for hearing on December 14. “We are all set to just take it up to the Supreme Court because our clients have a sturdy situation to upturn the judgement in their favour pursuing the trim victory that Williams is making the most of more than the Substantial Court judgement that gave him a person of the lands on the assets.” On the coming December 14, Charm listening to, Omoboriowo stated: “My clientele have a powerful situation in opposition to him to upturn the judgement as a subject of fact. That is why we are treading the line of professionalism, the line of the legislation and not resorting to push, law enforcement and in this article and there. He’s the a person that goes about talking as outdated as he is. We are likely to upturn it by the grace of God. The case is nonetheless going to the Supreme Courtroom and we are going to overturn the first 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 occasion, during the period when the case was ahead of the demo courtroom, he stated, the defendants, less than the guise of a bogus settlement initiative, delayed the listening to of the case for a significant duration of time. He also claimed that the Lebanese at some place re-configured the home to accommodate far more tenants from whom rents managing into hundreds of millions have been collected by the defendants. Just after the defendants have been finished with the configuration of the home and had enable out the newly added spaces to tenants, all pretences toward amicable settlement of the dispute with Williams have been accomplished away 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 prior to the Courtroom of Attraction, the defendants allegedly commenced boasting to the tenants in the building and the individuals in the speedy natural environment that they had been well prepared to retain the circumstance in courtroom indefinitely as a result of the charm system. They even pointed to the notoriously gradual judicial process in the region, to travel dwelling their place, Williams alleged. “They claimed that provided my superior age, it is nearly unachievable for me to see the close of the scenario in my lifetime,” he even further instructed our reporter. But the threats and needs of loss of life notwithstanding, Williams thinks that the exact Almighty God, who kept him alive throughout the length of the circumstance at the demo court docket, would maintain him by the appeal procedures right until his last vindication by the Court docket of Attractiveness, and if require be, the Supreme Courtroom. Williams reported that he was steadfast in his perception that though the wheels of justice might transform slowly and gradually, they do, in truth, flip exceedingly fine, declaring that his faith in God and the judicial method experienced hardly ever been more robust. Omoboriowo nevertheless, explained that his clients’ company has been in possession and occupation of the same home because 1966 devoid of any challenge or disturbance from Williams’ alleged predecessors’ intitle or the Claimant. He insisted that his enterprise carried out a typical mend in the tune of N150 million for the trespass and lawful execution carried out by the Claimant and/or his brokers on the afflicted home in December 2009. In accordance to him, the Claimant lacks the locus standi to institute or begin any situation versus them in that he is not a party to any of the transactions (title files) when signing the deed of agreement in 1953 was carried out. Assistant home manager of M. El-Khalil & Sons (homes) Confined, Obinna Chima, on his part mentioned that there is very little in any of the files placed prior to the Courtroom by Williams from whom the Court docket could find or infer any relationship or link amongst the Claimant and his alleged predecessors-in-title. This, the Lebanese’ legal professionals, agreed with, when they claimed that this motion is statute barred in that the induce of motion which is challenging the authenticity of the Deed of transfer of Freehold dated November 2, 1956, arose 55 a long time back. The uncovered attorney argued that this suit amounts to an abuse of the process of the Court docket in that the notices to quit and see of owner’s intent to utilize to get well possession on which this action is started had been purportedly served for the duration of the pendency of go well with No LD/2144/05 (Dr. C.O. Williams vs M. El-Khalil & ORS) in which the stated go well with, events and the subject matter make any difference are the similar as in the fast fit and also a Detect of Charm filed by the Claimant which has not been withdrawn. Having said that, a pay a visit to to the assets in issue by our reporter, showed that it is a 10-storey developing with store space ranging from N3 million to N15 million per annum with traders of all sorts occupying the house. The traders provide typically sneakers, bags, leather-based, garments, jewelry components, and occupy each individual flooring of the building.

 

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