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Popular Lagos Pastor, Paul Adefarasin In N800m Land Scandal -Seeks Discontinuation Suit Against Him On Jurisdiction Ground

Pastor Paul Adefarasin




Popular Lagos Pastor, Paul Adefarasin and his church, House on the Rock, has told an Igbosere High Court, Lagos, that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a N800 million suit filed by a businessman, Gerald Chukwueke for allegedly trespassing on a land located in Lekki area of the state.

Pastor Adefarasin and his church is urging the court to striking out the suit on the ground that it is not properly constituted as to vest jurisdiction in the court to hear and determine it.

Chukwueke, and three other claimants: Chinelo Chukwueke, Mrs. Martha Chukwueke, Germaine Logistics Limited & Germaine Auto Centre Limited are seeking the sum of N800 million from the defendants as damages for allegedly trespassing on and taking over their land.

The claimants, are also seeking the sum of N180 million as solicitor fees, and wants the court to bar the defendants from further trespassing on the disputed Land.

Other defendants in the suit are: the Incorporated Trustees of the Rock Foundation, the Registrar of Titles, Lagos State Land Registry, and the Attorney General of Lagos State.

The presiding judge, Justice Adebisi Akinlade had on March 17, 2016 restrained the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from demolishing or removing any structure whatsoever be they temporary or permanent on the claimants premises located at plots 15, 16, 17 and 18 located at 188 Ikate, Lekki, Lagos.

The court also barred the defendants from commencing any development, construction, building or erecting any structure whether temporary or permanent in any manner whatsoever on the land.

At the last sitting of the court on April 8, 2016Justice Akinlade again ordered that parties in the matter should maintain status quo ante bellum as it existed on March 15, 2016, when the defendants were served with the processes in the suit, pending the hearing of the interlocutory application filed by the claimants.

But at the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Pastor Adefarasin and other defendants asked the court to striking out the suit because the entirety of the case is mischievous, frivolous, vexatious, baseless & same constitutes a gross abuse of the process of court.

The defendants also maintained that the deed of third party legal mortgage dated March 5, 2012, between the fourth and fifth claimant on one hand, and Diamond Bank on the other, are duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission is a charge regulated by the provisions of CAMA,

The defendants also stated that there is no contractual relationship or any other relationship between any of the claimants and Adefarasin and his church.

Justice Akinlade has adjourned the suit to July 4 for the hearing of the application.

In the motion on notice, Gerald Chukwueke and other claimants alleged that Pastor Adefarasin and his church had sometimes in January 2016, repeatedly trespassed on their premises.

They also averred that when their lawyer wrote them over the illegal action, the first and second defendant claimed that they acquired ownership and possession of the property by virtue of a Deed of Assignment registered as No. 98 in volume 2513, executed in their favour by Diamond Bank Plc.

The claimants also alleged that investigation revealed that the purported acquisition of the property was fraudulent.

According to them a forged Deed of third Party Legal Mortgage between Diamond Bank Plc and the fourth and fifth claimants was purportedly executed on March 5, 2012 mortgaging the property in favour of the bank.

The claimants also alleged that the deed was not executed by the directors or any authorised signatory of the 4th and 5th claimants.

Consequently, they are seeking a declaration that the Deed of Assignment between Diamond bank and the Incorporated Trustees of the Rock Foundation be declared null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
The claimants are also urging the court for an order directing the Lagos State Government and the Registrar of Titles, Lagos State Land Registry to revoke the Deed of third Party Legal Mortgage between Diamond bank and the Incorporated Trustees of the Rock Foundation.

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