Businessman, bank in court over property sale

Lagos High court

Lagos High court

Unable to register his interest and take possession of a property he purchased from the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), due to a caveat placed on the property by a mortgagor, a real estate investor, Mr. Ignay Nwene, has prayed a Lagos High Court, Tafawa Belewa Square to award N200 million damages against the bank.

The matter which is before Justice Oyindamola Ogala, has been adjourned to January 26.

According to the plaintiff’s statement of claim, by virtue of a Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage between one Onyi Nigeria Limited (borower) and one Blessing Onyi Okwuokei (mortgagor), and the defendant (GTB) dated December 8, 2011 and registered at land registry, Alausa, a legal mortgage interest was created over the property.

property is located at No. 18 Shagamu Avenue, Ilupeju, Lagos and comprises three floors.

The plaintiff said upon the default of the said mortgagor to service the loan facility availed it by the defendant in accordance with the tenor and after several efforts to get the morgagor service the loan failed, the defendant in exercise of its powers of sale put out the property for sale.

He further stated that he bidded for the property and emerged the winner, therefore buying the property at the sum of N39million and spent over N5.1million as fees for governor’s consent.

“The defendant also executed and supplied to the claimant other documents required for the claimant to apply for and process the Governor’s consent in respect of the said sale. The claimant had passed through or scaled all the statges of the perfection and was at the final state of registration of his said interest, when it was discovered that Okwuokei (mortgagor) had caused a caveat/caustion dated May 9, 2014 to be put on the certificate of Occupancy, thus effectively shutting out the claimant from registering his interest in the said property and also prevented the claimant from taking possession of the said property.

But the defendant in its statement of defence averred that the doctrine of caveat emptor applies in the circumstances of the sale, that the plaintiff was expected to have conducted a search.

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