The residence on 33 Balogun Road, Lagos, is in dispute. There are two claimants. Though the Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams’ relatives would like their asset handed back to them, the Lebanese business, which supposedly leased it, claims the home experienced extended been sold to them. Taiwo Hassan, who has been subsequent the disagreement, reviews
For the former Main Healthcare Director of Unity Healthcare facility, Lagos, Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams, it is been a tug-of-war striving 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 assets to Mohammed El-Khalil and many others in 1953.
The lease was for 50 years. And the 10-storey setting up was on 3/5, Bankole Street, Lagos, at that time. The road experienced since been rearranged and it is now on 33 Balogun Road. Williams Snr. and his siblings had declared on their own proprietors of the aforementioned property by inheritance under native regulations and customs. But in 1953, they granted a 50-yr lease of the house to Messrs Mohammed El-Khalil and Ramiz Moukarim.
Having said that, a minor about a few several years (1956) just after the execution of the 1953 lease, Moukarim and El-Khalil allegedly claimed to have out rightly procured the assets from Williams’ father and his siblings the exact same brothers and sisters who designed the 1952 Declaration and signed the 1953 lease. But Williams has maintained that he experienced no know-how of the purported sale of the home, insisting that the Lebanese ended up occupying the creating less than the 1953 lease.
At the expiration of the lease on March 31, 2003, the Lebanese, Williams mentioned, refused to vacate the home, prompting him to formally notify them of the expiration of the lease, though at the same time requesting them to vacate the residence. Williams stated: “We approached the Lebanese to get back again our assets, but their reaction was disheartening. Alternatively of complying, they claimed that the property experienced been bought to their progenitor a few decades into the lease settlement. This, they explained, was perfected in 1956.
They drew our awareness to the 1956 Deed of Transfer under which they claimed the property was marketed to them.” Worried by the transform of events, the 85-calendar year-previous Williams done a research at the lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, but what he observed out was far more confounding. It was discovered, according to him, that the Deed of Transfer of title was without a doubt registered by the Lebanese as the rightful entrepreneurs of the property, scarcely 3 yrs just after the commencement of the 50-12 months lease by the Williams’ family members.
Not pleased with what they noticed, the Williams went to get a copy of the 1956 Deed of Transfer and forwarded same to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Nigerian Police, 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. Just after the investigation of the forensic report, the Law enforcement concluded that the signatures on the 1956 supposed Deed of Transfer of title were being solely different from all those on the 1952 declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease.
They subsequently declared that the 1956 Deed of Transfer was solid. Yet another seeming abnormality that caught Williams’ eyes was the failure of the 1956 Deed of Transfer to terminate or even make any form of reference to the 1953 Deed of Lease, which ordinarily should to have been the scenario.
It was also recognized that the Lebanese inadvertently misrepresented or wrongly explained Williams’ aunt, Adenike Wilson, as “Anike Wilson” in the purported 1956 Deed of Transfer despite the reality that in the 1952 Declaration and 1953 Lease, the similar aunt was continuously explained as Adenike Wilson. It was the combination of the Police conclusions and these contradictions that prompted Williams to tactic the Large Court of Lagos State to seek to void it and to recuperate their family’s residence.
On March 8, 2012, the relatives commenced a go well with at the Superior Court of Lagos State, in opposition to El-Khalil & Sons Homes Restricted and a few some others. They included the particular representatives of the Estate of Mohammed El-Khalil, private associates of the Estate of Ramiz Moukarim and the Registrar of Titles, Lands Registry of Lagos Condition as defendants. Williams experienced approached the courtroom in search of repossession of the property. The legal struggle spanned 7 years before the court docket sent its judgement in the fit on December, 6, 2019, in favour of Williams and his household.
A look at the summary of the history upon which the lawful fight was fought as demonstrated in a court document designed out there to this newspaper indicated that Williams is a descendant of a person James Wilson, the authentic proprietor of the residence in dispute. By the way, the Lebanese organization, in accordance to Williams, had refused to hand in excess of the residence to him and his family and has because been discouraging the court docket order on the justification that they experienced appealed the judgement at the Court docket of Appeal, Lagos.
At the hearing of the match, both of those Williams and the Lebanese termed for forensic proof in respect of the authenticity or normally of the signatures on the 1956 Deed of Transfer as in comparison to the signatures on the 1952 Declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease. But in a fairly strange twist, the forensic doctor called by the defendants testified beneath crossexamination prior to the trial court docket that the signatures on the Deed of Transfer were so diverse from the signatures on the 1953 Lease “that there was no foundation for any comparison concerning the two sets of signatures.” Soon after the judgement, the defendants submitted an appeal at the Court docket of Enchantment, Lagos Division, trying to find to overturn the ruling. They also utilized for a remain of execution of the judgement of the demo court pending the result of that attractiveness.
Nevertheless, at the listening to of the application for keep of execution, the defendants knowledgeable the trial court docket that they have been well prepared to deposit a lender assurance with the registrar of the demo court docket for the judgement sum pending the final result of their attraction.
Incidentally, Williams did not oppose the defendants’ proposal that a financial institution assurance really should be deposited in the account of the registrar of the court docket. He basically extra a even further condition that the management of the property must be vested in a respected estate management firm, when the appeal is pending ahead of the Court of Attraction. Apparently and notably, the defendants did not also item to or contest this added situation. In its ruling shipped on February 17, the demo courtroom, among the other items, granted a conditional keep in line with the proposals of the functions. The decide manufactured an purchase to the result that the judgement sum and curiosity accruing on it up till the judgement should be deposited within just 7 times by means of a financial institution draft in the identify of the Main Registrar of the Substantial Courtroom of Lagos Point out.
He also mentioned that the management of the property ought to be vested in a highly regarded estate agency to be appointed by the Chief Registrar of the Court. Even so, the defendants, it was further more learnt, released a second appeal, this time, versus the order of conditional remain granted by the demo court virtually on the defendants’ have terms.
The defendants’ counsel, Main Tunde Olojo of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co, on December 9, 2019, sent a see with Enchantment No: Suit No: LD/331/2012 to the Courtroom of Enchantment, Lagos, a copy of which is in possession of Saturday Telegraph. They, via their lawyers, mentioned they ended up dissatisfied with the final decision of the Significant Courtroom of Lagos Condition, contained in the judgement by Justice Candide-Johnson, shipped on December 6, 2019.
According to Counsel to Khalil: “The figured out demo judge 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 carry any dying certificate to set up the demise of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. In the Detect of Enchantment, the 1st respondent did not also lead 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 show that the 3rd Appellant is a beneficiary of the estates of the two 1st and 2nd Appellant. So, the realized demo judge erred in law when he held that the 1st respondent has set up a situation of forgery in opposition to the 1st -3rd Appellants and that the doctrine of genuineness did not avail them.” In a different twist even so, Williams petitioned the Federal Governing administration as a result of the Business of the Inspector Common of Law enforcement (IGP). He specially questioned the IGP, Mohammad Adamu, to conserve him in the hands of Lebanese descendants of El-Khalil, whom, he mentioned, have refused to release his family’s house soon after the expiration of their 50-12 months-aged lease agreement. The petition also addresses that of forgery, fraudulent conversion of assets and obtaining by power pretence. In the petition dated August 28, and duly signed by him, a copy of which was designed offered to Saturday Telegraph, confirmed that he was boasting that the firm of M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Restricted forged a Deed of Transfer dated December 2, 1956, and has been claiming ownership of and occupying his family’s home considering the fact that then centered on the forged titled doc. Williams equally claimed that the enterprise, M. El-Khalil & Sons Attributes Minimal, now managed by Francis Uzom of Frank Harden Limited and Obinna Chima had relied on bogus declare of possession of the residence to pocket huge funds managing into billions of naira in rents collection from unsuspecting tenants at the assets. “They have been making an attempt to provide the said property based on the mentioned forged title files,” he even further alleged. He stated that his efforts to alert the occupants of the residence and the common general public, in particular probable assets prospective buyers about the declare of possession by M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Restricted, have led to several threats of death directed at him by officers of the stated company. Whilst responding to the weighty allegations, the Lebanese speaking through their lawyer, Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi and Kusamotu Olojo & Co, dismissed the dying statements allegation in his job interview with our reporter. According to him, “This is a lie that was perfectly fabricated. In actuality, the allegation is not only a lie, but also untrue and baseless. It is a finish lie from the air.” Omoboriowo did not only garbage Williams’ claims on property forgery, but insisted that, “It is a fabricated lies that are unable to be demonstrated by him at the legislation court docket simply because M. El-Khalil & Sons Attributes Limited is a business and if he is insisting that a business forged a certificate like he claimed, so why didn’t he appear out and mention a director (s) or staff of the business that did it in M. El-Khalil & SONS Houses Limited and the so-termed director or workers will appear out publicly to accept or deny that.” The attorney defined that the claimant has no evidence of evidence to that effect as he’s making use of the danger to lifetime as a ploy to obtain sympathy adhering to his purchasers transfer to enchantment the Superior Courtroom of Lagos Judgement. “There is no iota of truth in that,” he additional. Omoboriowo instructed our reporter that the situation is presently in the Court docket of Appeal and that it is by now slated for listening to on December 14. “We are completely ready to just take it up to the Supreme Courtroom since our customers have a powerful situation to upturn the judgement in their favour pursuing the trim victory that Williams is taking pleasure in in excess of the Substantial Court judgement that gave him one particular of the lands on the residence.” On the coming December 14, Attraction listening to, Omoboriowo mentioned: “My customers have a robust situation versus him to upturn the judgement as a matter of fact. That is why we are treading the line of professionalism, the line of the regulation and not resorting to press, law enforcement and below and there. He’s the one that goes about conversing as aged as he is. We are going to upturn it by the grace of God. The situation is nevertheless likely to the Supreme Courtroom and we are heading to overturn the first judgement it is just a trim victory he has now.” Not long ago, Williams has also complained of other alleged underhand dealings by the Lebanese. For instance, all through the interval when the circumstance was right before the demo court, he explained, the defendants, beneath the guise of a bogus settlement initiative, delayed the hearing of the scenario for a sizeable length of time. He also claimed that the Lebanese at some point re-configured the house to accommodate additional tenants from whom rents operating into hundreds of tens of millions had been gathered by the defendants. Just after the defendants were done with the configuration of the home and experienced enable out the newly added areas to tenants, all pretences towards amicable settlement of the dispute with Williams had been completed absent with by them as they returned to announce to the trial court docket that the settlement initiative failed. Once more, whilst their two appeals were being pending before the Court of Attractiveness, the defendants allegedly begun boasting to the tenants in the setting up and the folks in the instant ecosystem that they were well prepared to hold the situation in court docket indefinitely by means of the attractiveness process. They even pointed to the notoriously sluggish judicial system in the region, to generate house their point, Williams alleged. “They claimed that presented my sophisticated age, it is practically extremely hard for me to see the stop of the scenario in my life span,” he additional instructed our reporter. But the threats and wishes of loss of life notwithstanding, Williams thinks that the similar Almighty God, who stored him alive during the period of the circumstance at the demo courtroom, would sustain him by the appeal processes until eventually his last vindication by the Court docket of Enchantment, and if need be, the Supreme Court. Williams mentioned that he was steadfast in his perception that however the wheels of justice could flip slowly but surely, they do, in truth, switch exceedingly great, stating that his religion in God and the judicial procedure experienced under no circumstances been much better. Omoboriowo however, explained that his clients’ company has been in possession and profession of the exact same home due to the fact 1966 with out any problem 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 affected home in December 2009. According to him, the Claimant lacks the locus standi to institute or start any case towards them in that he is not a party to any of the transactions (title paperwork) when signing the deed of settlement in 1953 was carried out. Assistant assets manager of M. El-Khalil & Sons (properties) Confined, Obinna Chima, on his aspect reported that there is very little in any of the paperwork put just before the Courtroom by Williams from whom the Court could come across or infer any romantic relationship or connection amongst 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 lead to of motion which is tough the authenticity of the Deed of transfer of Freehold dated November 2, 1956, arose 55 a long time ago. The uncovered attorney argued that this fit quantities to an abuse of the process of the Court docket in that the notices to quit and discover of owner’s intent to implement to get well possession on which this action is founded were purportedly served through the pendency of go well with No LD/2144/05 (Dr. C.O. Williams vs M. El-Khalil & ORS) in which the explained accommodate, events and the subject make any difference are the very same as in the immediate suit and also a Discover of Appeal filed by the Claimant which has not been withdrawn. However, a go to to the house in dilemma by our reporter, showed that it is a 10-storey constructing with shop place ranging from N3 million to N15 million for every annum with traders of all sorts occupying the home. The traders offer mostly footwear, bags, leather, clothes, jewellery extras, and occupy every floor of the developing.
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