Court orders status quo in case against ex-footballer

A Lagos State High Court has ordered parties to maintain status quo in a suit against Dok Engineering Services Ltd and a former Nigeria International footballer, Wilson Oruma.

The claimant, Megallus Nigeria Limited, filed a motion on notice seeking to restrain the respondents from entering a piece of land measuring 57,739.633 square meters at Idasho Village, Elekan in Ibeju Lekki.

The property has a survey plan numbered LA/1314/2014/34F, dated January 30, 2014 and drawn by Surveyor D.O. Onipede. The defendants, who were yet to file and serve their responses to the application for injunction, prayed for an adjournment, which was granted.

Justice Morenike Obadina had on August 31 extended an interim order of injunction made by Justice W. Animahun on August 24 restraining the defendants from entering, alienating or in any way disturbing the claimant’s possession of the land.

The judge reminded parties of the subsistence of the interim order of injunction and ordered that status quo be maintained pending the determination of the substantive application (motion on notice).

Justice Obadina directed that the case file be returned to Justice Christopher Balogun, who was originally handling the case. The case was heard by other judges during the long vacation following an urgent application by the claimant alleging that Dok Engineering in collusion with Oruma, forcefully beset the land and started erecting fences and partitioning the property in dispute into two equal halves.

The claimant is praying for an order compelling Oruma to assign and endorse all documents transferring his rights over the property.
The claimant stated that, sometime in August 2013, Oruma offered it a parcel of land for sale, and it made a part-payment of N5 million out of N90 million, with the balance to be paid in four months.

The claimant said that, due to its inability to complete the balance, a new payment plan was drawn up, in which he paid additional N15 million, with the balance to be paid by March 31, 2014.

The firm said when it sought to complete the payment and presented Oruma with eight managers cheque on March 31, 2014, totaling N70million, the defendant allegedly refused to collect the cheques and also did not execute the instruments of transfer, including deed of assignment.

The claimant added that, the former footballer offered to refund the N20 million part payments, rather than collecting full payment.

However, the defendants are praying the court to dismiss the suit. Oruma claimed the plaintiff did not pay for the land in line with the agreement.

Dok Engineering is claiming it acquired the land legally from Oruma, adding that the suit was unmeritorious.
The case will come up before Justice Balogun on October 16.

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