ESVARBON Tribunal Suspends Estate Surveyor for Alleged Misconduct

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By Fadekemi Ajakaiye

The tribunal of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) has suspended a registered estate surveyor and valuer from practicing in Nigeria for a year for allegedly not delivering a project paid for by a 73-year old lady.

The affected estate surveyor, Mr. Bode Araba, allegedly “collected a sum of N3.5 million from one Mrs. Oluwaranti Williams, a 73 year old woman, to deliver a construction work in 2013, but he neither delivered the project, nor refunded the money,” according to a statement by ESVARBON Tribunal, which was established by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The ESVARBON Tribunal, which is empowered to, among others, examine infractions and enforce discipline among estate surveyors and valuers in the country, directed that Araba should not practice in the country for a year

Although Araba had earlier, through his counsel, Mr. Oladapo Adewunmi, protested the powers of the Tribunal to hear and determine the matter, but “at a later date, the respondent wrote to Tribunal of his readiness to settle the matter.”

This made the Tribunal to adjourn the matter to 12th December, 2020.

At the resumed hearing, the petitioner, Williams, told the Tribunal that Araba was yet to reach her for settlement.

After confirming that the respondent and his lawyer were served, Chairman of the Tribunal, Sir Nweke Umezuruike said, “After weighing the evidence of the complainant, Mr. Bode Araba was directed to refund the said sum with interest calculated at the rate of 13 per cent P/A from January 2014 to date.”

He added that such payment should be made not later than 30 days from the date of the ruling, and that if he failed to do so, his name should be struck off the register of ESVARBON and his registration be cancelled.

The Tribunal also said that, if the respondent fails to comply with its directive, it shall report him to the police for criminal prosecution and to the Council of Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) for any further action.