Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Chief Ladi Williams (SAN), the eldest son of the late legal luminary, Chief F.R.A. Williams (SAN), has said he chose to shake hands with his junior brother, Tokunbo Williams (SAN) at the Supreme Court last Thursday on his own volition.
He added that the court did not force him to greet his brothers, rather, he was the one who stood up, went to his brother and shook hands with him.
The Supreme Court had last Thursday advised the children of the late Williams to settle among themselves, the dispute over father’s Will when the appeal filed by Williams’ eldest son, Ladi, came up for hearing at the court.
But the court advised them to go and settle the dispute out of court.
The court mandated the sons to work out a solution to the dispute among themselves without the involvement of an arbitrator.
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta who presided at the hearing told them that the court would not hear the appeal.
Justice Ngwuta said: “The only thing we want to hear from you is the report of settlement.”
He adjourned the appeal to November 7, 2016 for the Williams’ sons to come and tell the court the agreement reached by them to resolve the decade long dispute.
The justices advised them to involve all other parties so that they would be able to reach a solution that included everyone.
The court said being the eldest, Ladi should invite his brothers to his house for settlement.
In order to make sure that everyone was carried along in the negotiation to arrive at an out-of-court settlement, Ladi applied to the court to make an order to compel the remaining two children to come to court at the next adjourned date.
The court agreed and made an order directing all the Williams’ sons to come to the court on November 7th, 2016.
In the appeal, Ladi Williams and Chief Kayode Williams are the appellants while Folarin Williams and Tokunbo Williams were the respondents. Four of them are born by the same parents.
Williams died on 29 March 2005 leaving behind four sons. At the time of his death, it was insinuated that he did not write a Will.
In the appeal, Ladi and Kayode are asking the Supreme Court to hold that since their father made a Will in 1954, the Will should be upheld while an arrangement to refer the dispute over the estate to an arbitration should be dis-countenanced.
They faulted the decision of the Court of Appeal in Lagos which held that the dispute be referred to arbitration.
According to them, the issues involved were not issues that could be resolved by arbitration but by a court of competent jurisdiction.