Symbol of Justice
By Tobi Soniyi
Justice H.B Yusuf of an Abuja High Court has issued an interim order stopping the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), a serving governor in the North-west (name withheld), a serving director of the United Bank for Africa, Alhaji Sanni Usman and two others, from entering or carrying out any activity on a disputed property located on Plot No 3, Karsana District, Gwarinpa in Abuja.
The judge who gave the exparte order after listening to legal arguments canvassed by counsel to an estate developer, Jenew Nigeria Limited, also warned the defendants against taking any step whatsoever on the property pending the determination of an interlocutory application before him.
Others who were also restrained by the order of the court from taking any step in respect of the property are Dankwari Brothers Enterprises Limited and Mr. Charles Nwakama.
The case file of the matter is presently with the Abuja high court Chief Judge, Justice Lawan Gumi, for studying and possible reassignment since the case was heard during vacation.
The presiding judge in the case was expected to take arguments from all the parties involved to decide on the ownership status of the property. Already, the court orders had been served on all the parties involved.
An estate developer, Mr Nelson Akubudike together with his property consultancy firm, JENEW Nigeria Limited had invoked the jurisdiction of the Abuja high court upon discovery of men of the NIA allegedly encroaching on a multi-million property they had acquired for mass housing project for civil servants in Abuja.
Nelson, according to documents submitted before the court, explained that the purported property located in Gwarinpa is measured 10.8 hectares and was sold to him about two years ago.
He said though the property was registered in the name of PHGE Control Limited, a firm owned by Mr Charles Nwakama, he said he later discovered that the property was acquired by a serving governor in the North West in the name of PHGE Control Limited owned by Nwakama.
He said the serving governor however used the title document on the property as collateral to take personal loan from a UBA director, one Alhaji Sanni Usman.
He said that upon discovering the facts of the land, he not only had a meeting with the UBA director on how to offset the loan got from him by the serving governor but also with Nwakama on whose firm’s name the property was registered at AEGIS and the governor.
He said all the parties agreed to sell the land to him and mandated Mr Charles Nwakama as a director of the PHGE Control Limited on whose name the land was registered to prepare all necessary documents on the property in his favour.
He said all the monies he paid on the property were lodged in the accounts given him by the UBA director to offset the personal loan he gave to the serving governor.
He said more than one year after the agreement had been signed, the UBA director allegedly got a better offer from NIA and decided to re-sell the property to the military agency which is now encroaching on the land.
He said he was in court to get a clear pronouncement on the matter as to whether it is available to the UBA director to unilaterally sell off a property he had allocated to various civil servants who showed interest in his mass housing project.