A Lagos High Court has ordered Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to vacate a disputed property at Victory Park Estate, Osapa, Lekki Peninsula, Lagos State, for its rightful owner, Mr. Temilola Okesanjo.
Delivering judgment in a suit marked LD/2801LM/2020, Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi declared the claimant’s title to the property covered by Deed of Assignment registered as instrument No. 57 at Page 57 in Volume 2150 of Deeds Register at the Land Registry Office of Alausa, Ikeja, ss valid and subsisting.
The claimant, Okesanjo, had sued AMCON, and the Registrar of Titles Lagos State, praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining AMCON or its agents, privies or any person acting on its behalf from entering into or taking possession of the property in any manner contrary to the claimant’s proprietary interest.
The claimant also prayed the court for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the first defendant (AMCON) to evacuate its agents, servants, as well as armed security men, and to remove its signpost and banner affixed on the property.
However, AMCON contended that the suit was an abuse of court processes for the reason that the claimant had filed suits marked LD/2667LM/2020 and LD/3165LM/2021 against it.
In his judgment delivered on October 26, 2022, Justice Ogunjobi granted reliefs one to four and nine to 11 in the claimant’s originating summons.
The court held that the uncontroverted averment of the claimant was that he bought the disputed property from Knight Rook Limited in 2003 and registered its title in November 2006.
The court held the claimant’s Deed of Assignment as a prima facie evidence that Knight Rook Limited had diverted its interest in the land to the claimant.
“I have perused the averments in the 1st defendant’s counter-affidavit. Paragraphs 12, 13,14,15,16 and 17 are legal arguments on the reliefs sought in the originating summons vis-à-vis the judgment of the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/CS/L/774/2017 as affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Appeal Number CA/L/698/2018.
“I have considered the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No FHC/L/CS/744/2017. In the judgment, the court granted inter alia, ‘an order empowering the claimant (first defendant) to take over all the movable and immovable properties of the defendants, including House J1, Olajide Awosedo Avenue, Goshen Beach Estate, Lekki, registered as No. 96 Page 96 Volume 2,184 in the Land Registry Alausa, Ikeja, for the satisfaction of defendants’ indebtedness. Knight Rook Limited is the first defendant in suit No. FHC/L/CS/744/2017. In my view, the order covers all movable and immovable properties of Knight Rook Limited as at the date of judgment.
By the order, the court need not specifically reference the title of the claimant for the judgment to apply to the land being claimed by the claimants, provided the land forms part of immovable property of Knight Rook Limited as at the date of the judgment,” the court held.
The judge declared that the uncontroverted averment of the claimant was that he bought the land from Knight Rook Limited in 2003 and registered his title in November 2006. Exhibit JP1 is the deed of assignment between Knight Rook Limited and the claimant.
The deed, the judge said, is registered as instrument No. 57/57 in volume 2150 at the Land Registry, Lagos Exhibit JP1 is a prima facie evidence that Knight Rook Limited had diverted its interest in the land to the claimant.
On whether the Deed of Assignment executed in favour of the claimant in respect of Block F Plot 18 by persons without lawful authority is valid, the court held that AMCON failed to prove that the signatories to Exhibit 1 were not authorised by Knight Rook Limited.
The first defendant has failed to prove that the signatories to Exhibit 1 were not authorised by Knight Rook Limited and I so hold: “In light of the above findings and holdings of the court, the first question raised by the claimant in the originating summon is answered in the positive. The second question so raised is answered in the negative. Consequently, Reliefs one to four and nine to 11 in the Originating summons are granted, while Reliefs five to eight are not granted.”
The court, however, declined the claimant’s demand for N50 million damages for trespass.