By Bertram Nwannekanma
An Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta Judicial Division has struck out a suit filed by Iyalode Efunroye Tinubu family against Chief Akinfolabi Akindele over management of their estate in Lagos State.
Justice O. Mabekoye, struck out the suit after the court granted leave to the applicants’ counsel, Mr. J.O.Ogunbiyi, who filed an application to discontinue the case.
The lyalode Efunroye Tinubu family, who were known for their vast landed resources, has been in protracted legal battle over management of their estate.
Crisis started sometime in 2019, when some board of trustees’ members went to court to challenge the legal status of Adamakin Investment and Chief Akinfolabi Akindele as sole holders of the power of attorney to the estate in Lagos state.
The applicants in the suit are challenging the legal status of Adamakin Investment and Chief Akinfolabi Akindele as the authentic sole holder of the power of attorney to Iyalode Efunroye TInubu Estate.
They also alleged that the power of attorney granted to Adamakin Investment and Chief Akinfolabi Akindele has been revoked.
But the defendants through their counsel, Kunle Awoma, stated that the purported revocation of the power of attorney is not only invalid but was done in a manner inconsistent with the condition precedent as stipulated in the power of attorney.
They contended that the 2nd and 4th claimants have been in breach of their duties as trustees and are not entitled to the declaratory and injunctive relief sought before the court.
They also averred that contrary to the claimants’ claims, the vast expanse of land covered by the Judgment of December 23, 1912 and registered as number 45 in page 45 in Volume 2212 of the Register of Deed kept at the Lagos state Land Registry, Lagos, Nigeria, belongs to the Estate of Late Iyalode Efunroye TInubu and not to the first claimant as alleged
The defendants, who include Adamakin Investment and Works limited, Chief Akinfolabi Akindele, Rev. Musiliu Adio Bakare. Chief Sulaimon Alani Sanni, Mrs Fausat Alausa, and Mr. Moruf Afolabi submitted that Late Iyalode Efunroye Tinubu family consists of two branches, which are the Shobowale and Lumosa families.
According to them, to recover part of the estate, which covers 16 local councils in Lagos state, and harmonise the interest of the entire family, the family unanimously agreed between the two branches that a board of trustees should be constituted to administer the affairs of the estate.
Consequently, the heads of the two family and two accredited representatives of the two branches of Iyalode Efunroye Tinubu family approached the court sometime in the year 2000 for appointment of Trustees, pursuant to which the court made an order on April 29, 2020, appointing the 2nd, 3rd, 4th claimants as well as the late Chief Adams Bilade Lahan as the four trustees to the Estate of Late Iyalode Efunroye Tinubu.
They also contended that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, and that the suit is lacking in merit and discloses no reasonable cause of action as presently constituted will constitute will entertain the suit.
However, not willing to wash their dirty linens outside, some elders of the two families (the Shobowale family and the Lumosa family) intervened to find solution to the rift and bring peace to the great family of Yoruba ancestor.
They collectively decided to seek the path of unity in their efforts to recover their family lands from individuals who in most cases are not family members, but detractors who insist on using some family members to cause confusion, which had resulted in legal actions in court.
In his ruling on the application, Justice O. Mebekoya, noted the affidavit in support of the application sworn to by one Gafar Babatunde Ibrahim, and the fact that the family had indeed settled their differences and struck out the matter.
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