•Demands N140m from Ikemba’s widow over Lagos property
By FAITH OMORUYI
Ojukwu Transport Company has sued Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, widow of the Ikemba, Chukuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, before a Lagos High Court over a property. The firm, which is represented by one of its directors, Dr. Ike Ojukwu, filed the N140 million suit before Justice Adedayo Oyebanji. It is demanding payment of N40 million being the expected rentable value per year of the said premises from September 27, 2012 until the defendant gives up possession of the property.
It is also seeking N100 million in compensation for damages. In its statement of claim, the company alleged that its property at 29, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive (formerly Queens Drive) Ikoyi, Lagos is being illegally “detained” by Bianca.
The property is said to comprise of two-storey detached house. During proceedings yesterday, counsel to the claimant, Mr George Uweche (SAN), told the court that the defendant (Bianca) was served with court processes but had not filed a defence against the suit neither was she represented in court. The company, in its statement of claim, said that by a power of attorney dated May 4, 2012, it appointed one Massey Udegbe of Massey Udegbe & Co as its agent to manage the property in dispute.
It noted that the said property was earlier occupied by one of its directors, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, who had since relocated to Enugu State over 10 years ago. The plaintiff stated that the said property was left in a dilapidated and unsafe condition before it was handed over to Massey Udegbe & Co.
The claimant said that by a letter dated July 19, 2012 marked MUC/MAN.OTL/222, the managing agent informed Bianca of his appointment and requested her to hand over physical possession of the property, but she allegedly refused. The company argued that it published public notices in some newspapers to ensure that the general public is aware of its appointment of Massey Udegbe & Co as the managing agent.
The claimant said that its solicitor also filed a notice of owner’s intention to recover possession of the property yet, Bianca has allegedly refused to release the property, noting that the defendant’s continued illegal detention of the property is seriously affecting the operation of its business. In a sister suit marked LD/1681/2012, filed against occupiers of a property situated at 13 Ojora Road, Ikoyi (formerly Hawksworth Road), the claimant (Ojukwu Transport Limited), is also asking for another N40 million from some unknown persons being expected yearly rentable value of the said premises from September 27, 2012 until they give up possession of the property. The claimant, also asking for N100 million as damages. Hearing in both suits has been fixed for March 25, 2012 for hearing.