Many residents, business owners, and property owners in Kirikiri town in the Apapa area of Lagos State are feeling anxious, confused, and shocked as the beneficiaries of the late Lawrenco Antonio Cardoso’s estate have taken possession following a consent judgment rendered in their favor by the Lagos high court.
About 200 buildings, including tank farms, offices, marketplaces, a mosque, and residential structures, have already been built on the approximately 50 acres of property.
The exercise was in response to the Terms of Settlement, which were submitted at the High Court Registry in Lagos on June 18, 2014, and were legally signed by the parties to the lawsuit and their attorneys.
The beneficiaries of the estate stunned the neighborhood when they attacked the area with security guards to take possession of the land by posting signs that said, “M/7P/2014 Possession taken today August 8, 2023 by Court Order,” on all the buildings.
The notice stated that any attempt or forceful re-entry into possession of the property or any portion of it by any corporate or individual would be considered an intentional violation of the aforementioned judgments and their lawful execution, and would subject the involved violator to criminal charges in defiance of the aforementioned valid and prevailing judgments.
Mrs. Olaitan Ogunfade, Mr. Emmanuel Adewale Shyllo, Mr. John Oloye Reis, and Mr. Francis K. Adeojo (speaking for themselves and on behalf of all beneficiaries of the late Lawrenco Antonio Cardoso’s estate) are the beneficiaries of the estate who are officially recognized by the law.
The High Court of Lagos State’s Probate Registrar, Mrs. Stella Adedoyin Shonowo, Mrs. Bukola Amusan, Mrs. Adetokunbo Vera-Cruz, Mr. Lawrence Oluwatoyin Reis, Ms. Taiwo Shyleon, and Ms. Winifred Cardoso are the respondents.
In a consent judgment in suit number M/7P/14, Justice Jumoke Pedro of the Lagos High Court annulled all prior transactions involving any properties that were a part of the Lawrenco Anthonio Cardoso Estate that had not been preceded by Letters of Administration.
The Administrator-General of Lagos State shall cease from further management of the estate among all, the judge ordered, and those appointed and recognized as Administrators of the decedent’s estate shall immediately apply to the Probate Registrar, High Court of Lagos State for the processing and issuance of Letters of Administration.
The terms of the settlement were detailed in the ruling as follows: “Upon the Terms of Settlement dated 18th June, 2014 and filed at the High Court Registry, Lagos on 18th June, 2014, same having been duly signed by parties in this suit and the learned Counsel for the parties.
“It is hereby directed that the following findings of fact and conclusions of law be and judgment be hereby entered in this suit: That all prior dealings in real estate comprising the Lawrenco Anthonio Cardoso Estate without first obtaining Letters of Administration are hereby set aside.
“That upon the application for letters of administration in respect of the deceased estate from the 7 Defendant herein, the Administrator-General of Lagos State shall forthwith take possession of all properties comprised in or forming part of the Estate of Pa Lawrenco Anthonio Cardoso (hereinafter referred to as “the deceased estate”) and deliver same to the four persons listed below.
“That the following individuals, namely, Mrs. Felicia Enitan Fetuga, Mrs. Stella Adedoyin Shonowo, Mr. Emmanuel Adewale Shyllon, and Mr. Lawrenco Oluwatoyin Reis, are hereby appointed and recognized as Administrators of the deceased estate provided that they immediately apply to the 7th Defendant for the processing and issuance of Letters of Administration following which the Administrator-General of Lagos State shall issue the Letter
“That upon taking over management and control of estate property, the appointed Administrators shall act as Trustees for themselves and on behalf of all beneficiaries and/or descendants of Late Pa Lawrenco Anthonio Cardoso and shall see to the equitable distribution and sharing of accruals to the estate amongst all beneficiaries.
The Administrators shall provide annual accounts upon request from any constituted authority or to each beneficiary.
“That the payment of estate duty, as may be charged, and the settlement of professional fees and other obligations payable to the solicitors hereof shall be the first charge on estate revenue.
“That the Administrators appointed hereby shall immediately assume control of and pursue to completion all pending processes relating to any estate property.
Even though the parties agree to split the costs, “that paragraphs 1 to 7 herein shall be the Judgement of this Honourable Court in this case.”