Justice Aishat Opesanwo of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court has ordered that processes in suit number ID/ADR/207/2016 instituted against a leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, and three others be published in at least two national newspapers.
Mr. Tinubu, a company believed to be his, Aranda Overseas Corporation, a director in the company, Efuntayo Ibukun, and Wema Bank PLC were in October 2016 dragged before the court by Hashihal Trading Company and Usman Abubakar (claimants in the suit) over allegation that they failed and/or neglected to pay an outstanding indebtedness amounting to N150 million only.
In their Writ of Summons, the claimants are praying the court for an order directing the defendants to pay to them 10 per cent of the judgment sum till same is fully liquidated.
They are also praying the court to order the payment of 22 per cent interest per annum of the said sum from November 2013 to when judgment is delivered; and an order restraining Wema Bank from handing over the title documents of a property in contention to Messrs Tinubu and Ibukun.
In their statement of claim, the claimants through their counsel, A. I. Wombo, Emmanuel Ogbeche. and E.C. Ishiekwene, explained that sometime in February 2011, Mr. Abubakar indicated to Mr. Tinubu his intention to sell his property situated at 8, Herbert Macaulay Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. The said property measured approximately 4,428.85 square yards registered in the name of Hashihal Trading Company Limited.
The claimant further averred that it was agreed by the parties that the purchase price of N700 million be paid in two instalments. According to the claimants, it was further agreed that upon the payment of first instalment of N250 million, the original title documents in respect of the property be handed over to Wema Bank PLC pending the payment of the outstanding N450 million, which should be done within 14 days.
The claimants averred that they did not only hand over the said documents as agreed, they also vacated the premises.
They said the 14 working days agreed upon by the parties for the completion of payment elapsed on 2nd March, 2011, but that Mr. Tinubu and Aranda Overseas Corporation, in total and fundamental breach of the agreement, failed to complete payment of the purchase price.
They further averred that after several entreaties and demands, the defendants in May 2011 paid another instalment of N250 million. They said that following series of letters addressed to the defendants and persistent demands for payment of the outstanding balance, the defendants sometime in 2014 paid N50 million leaving a balance of N150million.
On February 8, Justice Opesanwo ordered that substituted service be effected on Messrs. Tinubu and Ibukun, and Aranda Overseas Corporation.
The court order followed an application brought by counsel to the claimants, Mr. Ogbeche of Trust Associates Legal Practitioners. The application dated February 1, 2017, was brought pursuant to Order 7 Rule 5(2) of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rule 2012 and under inherent jurisdiction of the court.
In the affidavit in support of the motion exparte deposed to by one Toyosi Adeniji, sheriff of the High Court of Lagos State, he said that he visited Allen Avenue, Ikeja on three different occasions, but was told that the company had vacated the premises. He also said he could not effect personal service on Mr. Tinubu as he was told that he (Tinubu) was not in town on the three occasions he visited his residence at 26, Bourdillion Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The matter had been adjourned to March 4.