“Wahala Be Like Portable”: Tenant Drags Landlady To Court For Refusing To Sell House To Him

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Ademola Onitiju, a tenant who sued his landlady for refusing to sell her house to him, has received a verdict from a high court in Lagos.

The high court, in its ruling, dismissed the suit filed by the 59-year-old Mr Onitiju in purchasing the four-bedroom duplex at Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi-Lagos.

The landlady, Theodosia Ogunnaike, was said to have had an initial agreement with Mr Onituju, who is a retired military personnel and a legal practitioner.

However, it was gathered that the landlady sold out the house to another buyer, thereby breaching the initial agreement she had with Mr Onitiju.

While making a case on the antecedent of the whole matter, Mr Onitiju, who has been a tenant since 2015, revealed that the house was offered at a purchase price of N170 million. Still, he offered N90 million for the property, which the house owner declined.

Mr Onitiju stated that a price tag of N135 million was later agreed on, forcing him to sell two of his family properties to match the amount.

He revealed that when the money was ready and prepared to pay, he requested the bank details for him to wire the money to the landlady but discovered that the house had been sold out to another retired military personnel, Samuel Dare.

Mr Onitiju, however, asked the court to set aside the sale of the house to another person on the premise that they had a gentlemanly agreement before the sale of the house to another person.

Defendant’s side of the story

Meanwhile, in her defence, the landlady admitted that the property did not belong to her; rather, it belonged to her daughter and that she was only serving as a supervisor and manager of the property, TheCable reported.

She revealed that the rent bill of Mr Onitiju annually is N4.5 million and at no time was the rent bill increased.

The landlady stated that since Mr Onitiju became a tenant, they both never had a rift while admitting he made the first bid for the house.

She revealed that the bid was thrown open after two failed attempts from Mr Onitiju to march the main price for the property.

In her ruling, the presiding judge, Bola Okikiolu-Ighile, held that Mr. Onitiju’s evidence presented before the high court was not concrete enough to grant his prayers.

Okikiolu-Ighile judgment reads:

“I find it difficult to grant any of the reliefs sought in the claims (i)-(vii). The claimant shall relinquish possession of the property to the new owners forthwith.”

However, reports have that Mr Onitiju has headed to the appellate court to seek justice.

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