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Alleged Breach Of Contract: Court Stops Firm, UPDC,From Disposing Disputed Property

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Alleged Breach Of Contract: Court Stops Firm, UPDC,From Disposing Disputed Property

Justice O Sule-Amzat of the Lagos High Court, has stopped a real estate firm, UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDCPlc) from dissipating, disposing or tampering with a parcel of land measuring 5, 306. 989 square meters, situated along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, victoria Island, Lagos State, pending the hearing and determination of suit filed against it.

Justice Sule-Amzat made the order while delivering ruling in an application for a preservative order on the said landed property brought before the court by one Oluwafemi Ayodele through his team lawyers, who includes: Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Kolawole Salami, Ademola Adefolaju and Tobiloba Oyewole.

The judge in his ruling on the application held that “I have listened to the Learned Silk, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) praying the Court for a preservative order to maintain status quo in order to forestall the dissipation of the ‘res’. I have taken cognizance of the fact that the preservation of the ‘res’ would serve the better end of justice.

“I am also mindful that there is a need to hear the other side and prevent breakdown of law and order, parties in this suit are hereby ordered to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”

The claimant, Oluwafemi, in his originating summons was brought pursuant to section 272(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Order 5 rules of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019, and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

In the originating summons, the claimant is asking the court for the following reliefs; “a declaration that the contract duly executed by him and the defendant (UPDC Plc), based on the offer letter dated September 28, 2022, is valid and subsisting having regard to the acceptance of same and payment of consideration.

“A declaration that the defendant is not entitled to renege on the valid and subsisting contract between him and the defendant constituted vide an offer letter dated September 28, 2022 and acceptance of same with the due payment of the consideration for the offer.

“An order of specific performance in the following terms: “Execution of the Deed of Transfer by the defendant over the offered parcel of land measuring 1000 Square metres representing the portion of the entire land area covered by the piles, along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“Handover of all title documents in relation of the said parcel of land measuring 1000 Square Metres covered by the piles, along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos situate to the Claimant.

“Execution of all relevant documents necessary to vest proper title over the parcel of land measuring 1000 Square Metres in the claimant. And cost of filing the suit.”

The claimant in an affidavit in support of the originating motion deposed to by Kayode Adeboye, a Litigation Clerk in the firm of Lords and Temple Attorneys, Counsel to the Claimant, stated that the defendant is a company duly incorporated under the laws of Nigeria and having its registered office address at UAC House, 1-5, Odunlami Street, Marina, Lagos State.

He averred that sometimes in September 2022, the Claimant instructed his agent, Adekola Titilayo of Tilee Global Trust Limited to submit an application to the defendant for the purchase of a parcel of land measuring 5, 306. 989 square representing the portion of the entire land covered by a Certificate Of Occupancy dated August 28, 2006, and registered and numbered as number 99 at page 99 in the Volume 2006R by the piles, situated along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, victoria Island, Lagos State

He stated that sequel to the submission of the application, series Of meetings and discussions were held between the Claimant, his agent and the representatives of the defendant, at the instance of the Defendant. And that upon the close of discussions, the defendant, vide an Offer Letter dated September 28, 2022, agreed to sell only 1000 Square Metres from the 5,306.989 situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State to the Claimant for the sum of N600, 000, 000.00 (Six Hundred Million Naira only) inclusive of taxes and charges.

The deponent stated that as one of the conditions for the Offer, the Claimant promptly communicated his acceptance of the offer on September 29, 2022, and proceeded with the payment of the agreed purchase price of N600 million, to the defendant’s Bank Account account Number: 0128584014, domiciled with First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

He averred that upon completing the payment of the purchase price, the claimant instructed his agent, Adekola Titilayo of Tilee Global Trust Limited, to notify the defendant of the payment of the purchase price, which the agent promptly did vide his letter dated October 25, 2022. And that vide the letter of October 25, 2022, the claimant also requested for a date and time for the surveyors of the parties to meet to enable them measure/carve out the portion offered for sale to him, and to enable the Claimant prepare the necessary transfer of title documents for execution.

He stated that despite of the service of the letter of the Claimant’s agent dated October 25, 2022, the defendant refused to respond of acknowledge the receipt of the payment made by the Clan int for the parcel of land measuring 1000 Square Metres, representing, the portion of the entre land area covered by the piles, situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State, offered to the claimant vide the contract dated 28th September 2022.

He averred further that due to the defendant’s refusal to either respond or acknowledge the receipt of the payment of the purchase price, being the sum of N600 million, the Claimant instructed his Solicitor, Ayoola Babalola of Ayoola Babalola & Co., to serve another letter on the defendant emphasizing the binding contract between the parties, while also requesting for a date to enable the surveyors meet for the carving/separation of the offered 1000 Square Metres from the 5,306.989 Square Metres representing the portion of the entire land area covered by the piles, situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

He stated that in compliance with the claimant’s instruction, Ayoola Babalola, vide his letter dated November 2, 2022, informed the defendant of the claimant’s dissatisfaction with the way and manner in which the transaction was being handled after the claimant duly communicated his acceptance of the Offer and paid the consideration for the said parcel of land.

He further stated that upon the service of the letter of the letter dated November 2, 2022, a meeting was conveyed at the instance of the defendant on November 3, 2022, to discuss and address the delay in carving out the offered 1000 Square Metres from the 5,306.989 Square Metres representing the portion of the entire land area covered by the piles, situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

He stated that as a result of the Claimant’s observation during the meeting of November 3, 2022, the Claimant, through his Solicitor, Ayoola Babalola, delivered a letter dated November 3,2022, to the defendant in which he informed the defendant of the willingness of the Claimant to accept the plain land beside the piled portion which is still open and available without any extra cost. But to the dismay of the claimant and contrary to the copious terms of the valid and binding Contract dated September 28, 2022, the defendant, vide its letter dated November 9, 2022, informed the claimant that the parcel of land measuring 5.306.989 Square Metres, representing the entire land area covered by the piles, situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State or any part thereof, was no longer available for sale.

The deponent stated that due to the arbitrary and unilateral termination of the binding contract by the defendant vide its letter of November 9, 2022, the Claimant instructed his Solicitor, Gboyega Oyewole, (SAN), to serve a pre-action notice on the defendant in compliance with the 2019 Rules of this Honourable Court.

He stated that vide the letter of Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, FCArb., dated November 14, 2022, the claimant informed the defendant of his intention to seek redress in Court, should it refuse to accede to his request to carve out/separate the 1000 Square Metres, which the Claimant duly paid for, from the entire land area covered by the piles, situate along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State. And that despite the service of the letter dated November 14, 2022, the defendant deliberately refused to either respond to or address to the claimant’s grieviance with the arbitrary, unilateral and wrongful termination of the duly executed contract dated September 4 2022,

The deponent stated that he knows that the contract duly executed by the claimant and the defendant based on the offer letter dated September 28, 2022, is valid and subsisting having regard to the acceptance of same and payment of the consideration being the sum of N600 million, and that the claimant complied fully with the copious terms of the duly executed contract, by accepting the offer and paying the consideration in the sum of N600 million to the defendant’s Bank Account (Account No: 0128584014) domiciled with FCMB.

He stated that the unilateral and arbitrary termination of the duly executed contract by the defendant without the consent and permission of the claimant is illegal, wrongful and contrary to the intention of the parties as contained in the offer letter dated September 28, 2022. Adding that the claimant instituted this suit to determine his rights under the contract based on the offer letter dated September 28, 2022, and to seek specific performance of the said contract for the purchase of a parcel of land measuring 1000 Square Metres representing the portion of the entire land area covered by the piles, along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He stated that he knows that having complied with the terms of the contract based on the terms of the offer letter dated September 28, 2022, and payment of the required consideration, the claimant is entitled to specific performance of the said contract. And that it is in the interest of justice and fairness for the Court to grant this Originating Summons with the reliefs endorsed therein.

Meanwhile, Justice Sule-Amzat has ordered that the hearing notice be issued to the defendant, while adjourned the matter to February 7, for further proceedings.

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