By Wale Abydeen, Publisher of Security Monitor.
NICON Trustee Limited was on Monday dragged by Guaranty Trust Bank before the Lagos High Court In The Judicial Division Holding at Lagos.
But according to the lawyer to Nicon Trustees and its Reciever/Manager, Barr Ejetareme Otuoniyo of Abel Partners, “Technically, GTBank bought stolen property. It had been appealing to us for a chance to negotiate and settle since we first sealed its premises that is trespassing on the said land pursuant to the Appeal Court judgment we executed against the bank last year. Now it has gone to court. We are not perturbed. They are desperate and this is just another of their antics to buy time. What they forget is that this will only worsen their situation. We don’t return from court to continue as friends. The land is Nicon Trustees’. GTB failed to beware and to do due diligence before buying land from people who had no title to it or right to sell in the first place. This has been established in the Appeal Court ruling (CA/L/364/2004) which still stands. It is a welcome development that GTB has gone to court. We will put this to rest when GTB finally looses as it must and surely will like all others like it trespassing on the land. Then we will no longer be discussing ratification. We will simply take the building. It is a settled principle of law that the owner of land owns everything else upon it.”
In the Writ of Summons obtained by our correspondent, GTBank as claimant seeks:
a . A Declaration that Guaranty Trust Bank is the owner with beneficial interest in the Property identified as plot 10 ,Government Estates ,Lekki Peninsula ,in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State ,measuring 15,000887 Shari meters,covered by survey plan No. HCS LA/2083/026/2014 dated August 5,2014,and Registered as No.14 at page 14 in volume 2329 in the Lagos State Land Registry Office (hereinafter the ” Subject Property”) .
b. A Declaration that Guaranty Trust Bank is a bonafide purchaser for value without notice of the Defendant’s claim to the subject property.
c. A Perpetual Injunction prohibiting the Defendant from entering ,selling ,lessing ,mortgaging ,assigning or howsoever encumbering ,disposing ,or dealing with the subject property.
d. An Order awarding the claimant General Damages against the Defendant in the sum of Twenty Five Million Naira for the inconvenience caused time and other resources expense by the claimant in pursuing these claims.
e. The costs of prosecuting this action, including ;but not limited to , attorneys’ feet in the sum of Twenty Five Million Naira.
Which was dated this 7the day of December 2020.
The writ is issued by Deni Audio , SAN of Copley partners whose address is at 2b Aw or I Crescent, off Obokun Street , Off Cocker Road , Ilupeju ,Lagos, Legal Practitioner for the said Claimant whose offices is at 635 Akin Ade sola Street , Victoria Island , Lagos State.
The writ is served by me on the Defendant accompanied by
a . A Statement of Claim
b. A list of witnesses to be called at the Trial;
c. Written Statement on Oath of the witness;
d. A list and copied Of documents to be relied on at Trial
e. Pre- Action Protocol form 01.
Statement of claim
The Claimant is Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, a public Company Limited by shares and duly incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with its offices located at 635 Akin Ade sola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
The defendant, Nicon Trustees Limited (“Defendant”) I a private Company Limited by shares and duly incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with its offices located at Nicon House,05 Custom Street, behind Afribank Headquarters Lagos, Nigeria.
The Claimant via Deed Assignment dated April 10, 2016, acquired a parcel of land located at Plot 10,Government Estates,Lekki peninsula in the Eti–Osa Local Government Area,Lagos State, measuring 15,000.887 square meters, covered by Survey Plan No. HCS LA/2083/026/2014 dated August 5,2014 [hereinafter the “SUBJECT PROPERTY’] from GLEN MAYE PROPERTIES LIMITED
Consequently, the claimant applied for Governor consent at the Lagos state,lands registry office and same was granted by the executive governor of Lagos state on June 10,2016. The Deed of Assignment with Governor’s consent and the survey plan are hereby pleaded and shall be relied upon at trial.
The claimant avers that it has since developed the Subject Properties since it has purchased it and has continued to enjoy quiet and peaceful possession of the said land until recently.
The Claimant states that it recently discovered that the Defendant that us purporting to be acting as a Trustee for certain Real Estate Note Holders pursuant to a purported Trust Deed,has been parading itself as the owner of One Hundred and Fifty  plots of land in Alma Beach Estate including the Claimant’s Subject Property.
The Claimant avers that the document the Defendant referenced as a Trust Deed upon which the Defendant rests its claim does not contain a survey plan identifying what portion ,if any ,of the Estate compromises the 150 plots alleged to be charged by the Trust Deed .The Trust Deed is hereby and shall be relied upon at a Trial.
The Claimant avers that the Defendant is threatening to enter the subject property ,disrupt the Claimant’s business,and remove the Claimant from the Property.
The Claimant avers that the absence of a survey plan attached to the Defendant’s supposed Trust Deed which is the predicate upon which Defendant rests its claim renders its claim as lacking any substance whatsoever.
The Claimant avers that it is the beneficial owner of the Subject Property,the Governor of Lagos State duly gave consent in the name of the Claimant to the Subject Property and therefore ,the Defendant is imposter .
WHEREFORE ,the Claimant Claims against the Defendant, as follows.
a. A Declaration that Guaranty Trust Bank is the owner with beneficial interest in the identified as plot 10 Government Estate ,Lekki Peninsula , in Eti-Osa Local Government are of Lagos State ,Measuring 15,000.887 square meters , covered by survey plan No . HCS LA/2083/026/2014dated August ,5 2014 ,and Registered as No .14 at page 14in volume 2529 in the Lagos State Land Registry Office (hereinafter the Subject the “Subject Property”).
b. Declaration that Guaranty Trust Bank is a bonafide purchaser for value without notice of the Defendant’s Claim to the Subject Property and ,therefore,the Defendant has no recourse or lawful claim to the Subject Property .
c. A Perpetual Injunction prohibiting Defendant from entering ,selling,lessing ,mortgaging ,assigning or howsoever encumbering ,disposing ,or dealing with the Subject Property .
d. An Order awarding the Claimant General Damages against the Defendant in the súm of twenty five million naira for the inconvenience caused ,time and other resources expended by the Claimant in pursuing these claims.
e. The costs of prosecuting this action,including but not limited to ,attorney’s fees in the sum of twenty five million Naira.