Three businessmen has slammed contempt proceedings on four officials of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) at a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly flouting the court’s order.
The four officials involved are; Ayodeji Adebayo Joseph, Managing Director, LSDPC; Adedamola Adepegba, LSDPC’s Legal Adviser; Adeola Olusodo, Executive Director, LSDPC and Olubusola Omotayo Akinbiyi, Deputy General Manager/Solicitor, LSDPC.
The contempt suit was filed against the four officials over their alleged flouting of a court’s order restraining LSDPC from having any dealing with a property situated at Plot 11 Akinola Martins Close, South-West, Ikoyi, Lagos State (now known as No. 1A & 1B Okunola Martins Close, South West Ikoyi, Lagos) in any manner whatsoever pending the hearing and determination of a subsisting suit on the property.
The three businessmen; Owodipo Awolowo Shonowo, Owokemi Omogbemi Shonowo and Owodolapo Bosola Shonowo, had secured the restraining order after filing an ex-parte motion through their lawyer, Adetunji Adedoyin.
Justice Yellin Bogoro of a Federal High Court in Lagos has while granting the ex-parte motion restrained the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Attorney General of Lagos State and two others from selling, entering, acquiring and dealing with or trespassing into the property.
Aside the LSDPC and the Attorney General of Lagos State, other defendants in the suit are the Registrar of Titles, Lagos State and the Federal Land Registry, Lagos State. They are the 1st to 4th defendants in the suit.
In an affidavit in support of the motion ex-parte, one of the businessmen, Owodipo Awolowo Shonowo, averred that himself and two others became seized of the property by virtue of an Instrument of Transfer of Leasehold dated 9th October 1965 executed between Real Properties Limited and the plaintiffs wherein they became joint owners of the said property and Notices to the Registrar of Title all dated 9th October, 1965 were issued to the plaintiffs respectively and Real Properties Limited.
He added that the transfer of title to the property was registered accordingly and the transaction was consented to on 11th October, 1965 by the Minister of Lagos Affairs.
The deponent stated further that during the plaintiffs lease period and up till date which is about fifty-eight (58) years since being seized of the property, the owners have been in lawful possession and have been exercising all rights of ownership over the property without any let or hindrance.
He averred further that recently strange movements were noticed within the property as some persons unknown to the plaintiffs and meddlesome interlopers are surreptitiously plotting and are in the process of orchestrating a subsequent sale and entry in the proprietorship register of the property in order to alter the plaintiffs interest in the subject property.
“That in February 2023, the plaintiffs carried out a search on the title covering the property which is the subject matter of this suit at the 3rd defendant’s office at the Land Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
“That to our greatest shock and surprise, the search conducted at the office of the 3rd Defendant revealed that between the periods of 1976 to 1987, a number of unauthorized transactions/entries had occurred on the title register without the plaintiffs’ knowledge.
“That by virtue of a Lagos State Gazette No. 19, Volume 9 of 15th April 1976andNo. 26, Volume 9 of 21st June 1976 respectively which promulgated the Determination of Certain Interest in Land Edict No. 3 of 1976, the Lagos State Government under the military administration of Commodore Adekunle Shamsideen Lawal, the then Military Governor of Lagos State, became vested in the interest in the property which is the subject matter of this suit.
“That by a letter dated 14th October, 1986 requesting for revesting of interest, in the subject matter of this suit, the property was transferred to the 1st Defendant and the transfer of interest was registered on 9th April, 1987 and the purported letter transferring title to the property which is the subject matter of this suit was filed in Title Number: LO4899”, the deponent further averred.
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