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


The property on 33 Balogun Avenue, Lagos, is in dispute. There are two claimants. Although the Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams’ spouse and children needs their asset handed back to them, the Lebanese business, which supposedly leased it, claims the property had very long been offered to them. Taiwo Hassan, who has been pursuing the disagreement, reports

For the previous Main Health care Director of Unity Healthcare facility, Lagos, Dr. Charles Oladeinde Williams, it’s been a tug-of-war attempting to reclaim his inheritance. His father, late Clarence Olatunde Williams, inherited the assets with his siblings from their individual father, James Wilson. His father, and his uncle, Charles Adeyinka Wilson, as nicely as his aunts, Florence Aduke Bajomo (Nee Williams) and Adenike Wilson, experienced leased the assets to Mohammed El-Khalil and others in 1953.

The lease was for 50 several years. And the 10-storey setting up was on 3/5, Bankole Road, Lagos, at that time. The avenue had since been rearranged and it is now on 33 Balogun Street. Williams Snr. and his siblings had declared by themselves entrepreneurs of the aforementioned property by inheritance under native legal guidelines and customs. But in 1953, they granted a 50-12 months lease of the property to Messrs Mohammed El-Khalil and Ramiz Moukarim.

Having said that, a minimal about 3 several years (1956) just after the execution of the 1953 lease, Moukarim and El-Khalil allegedly claimed to have out rightly obtained the house from Williams’ father and his siblings the similar brothers and sisters who produced the 1952 Declaration and signed the 1953 lease. But Williams has maintained that he had no understanding of the purported sale of the house, insisting that the Lebanese were occupying the making less than the 1953 lease.

At the expiration of the lease on March 31, 2003, the Lebanese, Williams explained, refused to vacate the home, prompting him to formally notify them of the expiration of the lease, while at the identical time requesting them to vacate the house. Williams reported: “We approached the Lebanese to get back our assets, but their response was disheartening. In its place of complying, they claimed that the assets experienced been sold to their progenitor 3 a long time into the lease arrangement. This, they mentioned, was perfected in 1956.

They drew our focus to the 1956 Deed of Transfer under which they claimed the house was bought to them.” Nervous by the switch of situations, the 85-yr-old Williams conducted a research at the lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, but what he uncovered out was far more confounding. It was uncovered, in accordance to him, that the Deed of Transfer of title was in fact registered by the Lebanese as the rightful house owners of the property, barely a few several years immediately after the commencement of the 50-yr lease by the Williams’ family.

Not happy with what they noticed, the Williams went to acquire 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 validate the authenticity of the signatures of his father and his father’s siblings and in comparison with people on the 1953 lease. Soon after the evaluation of the forensic report, the Police concluded that the signatures on the 1956 meant Deed of Transfer of title have been completely distinctive from those people on the 1952 declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease.

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

It was also noticed that the Lebanese inadvertently misrepresented or wrongly described Williams’ aunt, Adenike Wilson, as “Anike Wilson” in the purported 1956 Deed of Transfer regardless of the fact that in the 1952 Declaration and 1953 Lease, the exact aunt was continually explained as Adenike Wilson. It was the mixture of the Law enforcement results and these contradictions that prompted Williams to solution the Higher Court of Lagos Condition to search for to void it and to get well their family’s house.

On March 8, 2012, the family members commenced a suit at the Superior Court of Lagos Point out, in opposition to El-Khalil & Sons Homes Constrained and 3 other people. They involved the own reps of the Estate of Mohammed El-Khalil, own representatives of the Estate of Ramiz Moukarim and the Registrar of Titles, Lands Registry of Lagos Point out as defendants. Williams experienced approached the court docket looking for repossession of the house. The authorized struggle spanned seven a long time ahead of the court shipped its judgement in the suit on December, 6, 2019, in favour of Williams and his relatives.

A seem at the summary of the background upon which the authorized fight was fought as demonstrated in a court document built out there to this newspaper indicated that Williams is a descendant of just one James Wilson, the primary operator of the home in dispute. Incidentally, the Lebanese business, according to Williams, experienced refused to hand more than the residence to him and his spouse and children and has considering that been irritating the court docket purchase on the excuse that they experienced appealed the judgement at the Court of Attraction, Lagos.

At the hearing of the suit, both equally Williams and the Lebanese referred to as for forensic proof in respect of the authenticity or if not of the signatures on the 1956 Deed of Transfer as in contrast to the signatures on the 1952 Declaration and the 1953 Deed of Lease. But in a alternatively bizarre twist, the forensic health practitioner known as by the defendants testified underneath crossexamination prior to the trial courtroom that the signatures on the Deed of Transfer were being so various from the signatures on the 1953 Lease “that there was no foundation for any comparison amongst the two sets of signatures.” Just after the judgement, the defendants submitted an attractiveness at the Court docket of Attractiveness, Lagos Division, trying to find to overturn the ruling. They also used for a remain of execution of the judgement of the trial court docket pending the end result of that charm.

Still, at the listening to of the application for continue to be of execution, the defendants informed the trial court that they were prepared to deposit a financial institution warranty with the registrar of the demo court for the judgement sum pending the consequence of their appeal.

Incidentally, Williams did not oppose the defendants’ proposal that a lender promise ought to be deposited in the account of the registrar of the courtroom. He basically additional a even more situation that the management of the property should be vested in a highly regarded estate management organization, even though the appeal is pending just before the Court of Enchantment. Curiously and notably, the defendants did not also object to or contest this added affliction. In its ruling delivered on February 17, the trial courtroom, between other factors, granted a conditional stay in line with the proposals of the functions. The judge made an get to the result that the judgement sum and fascination accruing on it up till the judgement ought to be deposited within seven days via a bank draft in the title of the Chief Registrar of the Superior Court of Lagos Condition.

He also mentioned that the management of the house must be vested in a trustworthy estate company to be appointed by the Main Registrar of the Courtroom. However, the defendants, it was even further learnt, launched a next enchantment, this time, against the order of conditional stay granted by the demo court nearly on the defendants’ individual conditions.

The defendants’ counsel, Chief Tunde Olojo of Elubode B. Omoboriowo Esq, Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co, on December 9, 2019, despatched a detect with Attractiveness No: Suit No: LD/331/2012 to the Courtroom of Attraction, Lagos, a copy of which is in possession of Saturday Telegraph. They, by means of their lawyers, said they were being dissatisfied with the selection of the Higher Courtroom of Lagos State, contained in the judgement by Justice Candide-Johnson, shipped on December 6, 2019.

In accordance to Counsel to Khalil: “The learned trial decide erred in law 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 throughout the demo did not bring any death certificate to set up the demise of any of his alleged deceased predecessors-in-title. In the Notice of Charm, the 1st respondent did not also direct 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 uncovered demo decide erred in legislation when he held that the 1st respondent has proven a situation of forgery versus the 1st -3rd Appellants and that the doctrine of genuineness did not avail them.” In an additional twist nevertheless, Williams petitioned the Federal Govt as a result of the Office environment of the Inspector Basic of Police (IGP). He particularly asked the IGP, Mohammad Adamu, to conserve him in the palms of Lebanese descendants of El-Khalil, whom, he explained, have refused to launch his family’s property after the expiration of their 50-12 months-old lease arrangement. The petition also covers that of forgery, fraudulent conversion of home and acquiring by force pretence. In the petition dated August 28, and duly signed by him, a copy of which was produced offered to Saturday Telegraph, confirmed that he was proclaiming that the enterprise of M. El-Khalil & Sons Homes Minimal solid a Deed of Transfer dated December 2, 1956, and has been boasting ownership of and occupying his family’s home since then dependent on the forged titled document. Williams equally claimed that the corporation, M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Minimal, now managed by Francis Uzom of Frank Harden Confined and Obinna Chima experienced relied on false claim of possession of the home to pocket substantial dollars functioning into billions of naira in rents assortment from unsuspecting tenants at the house. “They have been making an attempt to sell the claimed home based on the said forged title files,” he further more alleged. He mentioned that his initiatives to alert the occupants of the property and the normal community, specially potential home purchasers about the declare of possession by M. El-Khalil & Sons Homes Minimal, have led to numerous threats of dying directed at him by officers of the claimed enterprise. Though 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 dying statements allegation in his job interview with our reporter. According to him, “This is a lie that was well fabricated. In simple fact, the allegation is not only a lie, but also untrue and baseless. It is a full lie from the air.” Omoboriowo did not only rubbish Williams’ statements on residence forgery, but insisted that, “It is a fabricated lies that simply cannot be verified by him at the regulation court docket since M. El-Khalil & Sons Houses Limited is a company and if he is insisting that a corporation cast a certification like he claimed, so why didn’t he occur out and mention a director (s) or staff of the firm that did it in M. El-Khalil & SONS Attributes Limited and the so-referred to as director or personnel will appear out publicly to accept or deny that.” The attorney explained that the claimant has no proof of proof to that effect as he’s using the menace to life as a ploy to attain sympathy next his clientele transfer to charm the Significant Courtroom of Lagos Judgement. “There is no iota of truth in that,” he extra. Omoboriowo informed our reporter that the case is by now in the Court docket of Attraction and that it is previously slated for hearing on December 14. “We are completely ready to choose it up to the Supreme Court docket due to the fact our customers have a solid situation to upturn the judgement in their favour adhering to the slim victory that Williams is making the most of more than the Significant Courtroom judgement that gave him just one of the lands on the home.” On the coming December 14, Attractiveness listening to, Omoboriowo stated: “My customers have a strong scenario versus 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, law enforcement and below and there. He’s the one particular that goes about conversing as previous as he is. We are heading to upturn it by the grace of God. The case is nonetheless going to the Supreme Court docket and we are likely to overturn the initial judgement it is just a slender victory he has now.” Recently, Williams has also complained of other alleged underhand dealings by the Lebanese. For occasion, all through the period of time when the situation was in advance of the demo courtroom, he stated, the defendants, underneath the guise of a bogus settlement initiative, delayed the hearing of the situation for a considerable length of time. He also claimed that the Lebanese at some point re-configured the residence to accommodate extra tenants from whom rents working into hundreds of millions ended up collected by the defendants. Immediately after the defendants were completed with the configuration of the assets and had let out the freshly added spaces 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 courtroom that the settlement initiative unsuccessful. All over again, when their two appeals had been pending ahead of the Courtroom of Enchantment, the defendants allegedly started boasting to the tenants in the building and the people today in the immediate setting that they were geared up to retain the scenario in courtroom indefinitely through the attraction approach. They even pointed to the notoriously sluggish judicial course of action in the place, to travel home their point, Williams alleged. “They claimed that specified my state-of-the-art age, it is practically impossible for me to see the conclude of the situation in my life span,” he further explained to our reporter. But the threats and needs of dying notwithstanding, Williams believes that the similar Almighty God, who saved him alive all through the period of the case at the trial court, would maintain him by means of the enchantment processes until finally his final vindication by the Court docket of Attractiveness, and if have to have be, the Supreme Courtroom. Williams reported that he was steadfast in his belief that though the wheels of justice may transform little by little, they do, in fact, convert exceedingly fine, declaring that his faith in God and the judicial program experienced never been more powerful. Omoboriowo nevertheless, stated that his clients’ enterprise has been in possession and occupation of the identical property given that 1966 without having any challenge or disturbance from Williams’ alleged predecessors’ intitle or the Claimant. He insisted that his enterprise carried out a general 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 house in December 2009. According to him, the Claimant lacks the locus standi to institute or commence any situation versus them in that he is not a occasion to any of the transactions (title paperwork) when signing the deed of agreement in 1953 was carried out. Assistant property manager of M. El-Khalil & Sons (properties) Confined, Obinna Chima, on his part reported that there is very little in any of the paperwork placed prior to the Court by Williams from whom the Court docket could discover or infer any marriage or link involving the Claimant and his alleged predecessors-in-title. This, the Lebanese’ lawyers, agreed with, when they explained that this motion is statute barred in that the cause of motion which is demanding the authenticity of the Deed of transfer of Freehold dated November 2, 1956, arose 55 years in the past. The acquired lawyer argued that this match amounts to an abuse of the process of the Court docket in that the notices to stop and notice of owner’s intent to use to get well possession upon which this motion is launched were purportedly served for the duration of the pendency of suit No LD/2144/05 (Dr. C.O. Williams vs M. El-Khalil & ORS) in which the mentioned accommodate, functions and the matter make a difference are the exact as in the quick match and also a Discover of Appeal submitted by the Claimant which has not been withdrawn. Even so, a stop by to the home in question by our reporter, showed that it is a 10-storey constructing with store area ranging from N3 million to N15 million for each annum with traders of all types occupying the property. The traders sell generally shoes, bags, leather, outfits, jewellery accessories, and occupy each and every flooring of the creating.


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