An Ikeja High Court has revoked alleged sales of property located at105, St.Finbar’s Road, Bariga in Lagos State to Diamond Bank Plc and Ablag Company Nigeria Limited.
Justice Atinuke Oluyemi in her judgement barred Diamond Bank and Ablag Company Nigeria Limited from further trespass on the said land.
Justice Oluyemi upheld the case of the claimants; saying that the purported purchase of the property between 2006 and 2007 by the bank is invalid.
The court also awarded cost of N50, 000 against all defendants.
Justice Oluyemi affirmed that the property covered by a Deed of Conveyance dates November 20, 1967 is legally vested in their deceased father, late Anicetus Ibhagbe Eikore.
“From the evidence before the court, I concur with the claimant final written address. The case of claimant succeeds. The property located on105, St. Finbers’ road, Bariga, Lagos, covered by a Deed of Conveyance dates November 20, 1967, and registered as number 25, at page 25 in volume 1292 in the office of the Land Registry, Alausa, Lagos,is for the children of deceased,” Justice Oluyemi said.
Diamond bank Plc was sued by ten children of a deceased Lagos businessman Anicetus Ibhagbe Eikore, for allegedly demolishing their family house and used the land to build its regional headquarters.
Joined as co-defendant is a limited liability company, Ablag Company Nigeria allegedly served as vendor for the purchase of the property.
The deceased’s family of 10 which comprises of Mrs. Rita Obhimon, Tony Eikore, Mrs. Veronica Afamah, Boniface Eikore, Miss Agnes Eikore, Augustine Eikore, Mrs. Philomena Adebowale, Mrs. Bose Isibor, Mrs. Ede Agbonhese, and Miss Lucy Eikore, in an amended statement of claim filed their lawyer, Barrister Jide Zaid, stated that the land was legally vested in their deceased father, late Anicetus Ibhagbe Eikore, who died intestate on November 2, 1990.
The claimants stated that upon the death of their father in 1990, they mutually allowed the eldest son in the family, John Osemeahon Eikore, to live in the property in order to protect the estate on their behalf.
They added that the said Eikore was living in the property since 1991, until sometime in December 2007, the 10th claimant (Miss Lucy Eikore) told them that the said property had been demolished and replaced by Diamond Bank’s office.
They added that all efforts made to invite the said John Eikore to a family meeting for the purpose of clarifying his dealing with the bank in respect of the property proved abortive.
The claimants also stated that the bank’s dealing in respect of their family property is unlawful, reckless, speculative and gold-digging, as diligent and honest enquiry by the bank would have revealed that Eikore could not have owned the property.
Consequently, the claimants were seeking a declaration that the purported sale of their family property is invalid, null and void.
But, the defendants in their response to the suit, while denying the claimants’ amended statement of claim, insisted that they bought the property from the claimants’ late father in 2007.
The bank added that they bought the land without notice of any encumbrance.
The bank therefore urged the court to dismiss the claimants’ suit with substantive cost.