For wanting in all known principles of law, an order of sale and ejection of the occupants of a property located at No. 540 Bachirawa Quarters, Bachirawa Uugogo Local Government, Kano State, made by the Kano State High Court in favour of a Spring Bank has been set aside.
The justices of the Kaduna Judicial Division of the Court of appeal, were invited to intervene in the case by one Mr. John Ayoade, who appealed against the judgment and ruling of the trial court, which were in favour of defunct Owena Bank Nigeria Plc, now Spring Bank Plc, and one Alhaji Aliyu Musa.
Both Ayoade had entered into a business relationship with the financial institution, used one of his property as a guarantee for the deal. But he later defaulted and in the process of recovering the said indebtedness, the bank made move to dispose the disputed property belonging to Musa. This led to the litigation in the instance case by Ayoade.
He, Ayoade, being the appellant filed an action against the original defendants – Owena Bank Nig. Plc and Ministry of Lands & Regional Planning, Kano, claiming amongst others, a declaration that there was never a valid sale of his landed property covered by the Certificate of Occupancy No. LKB/CON/RES/88/450 by the first defendant – Spring Bank to the second defendant, Alhaji Aliyu Musa.
He equally claimed a declaration that even if the said property was sold, it was improper, illegal and therefore null and void.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court held in favour of the appellant stating that the sale of the property was null and void. “That there was never any valid sale of the landed property of the plaintiff covered by the Certificate of Occupancy…any sale of the said house is improper, illegal, fraudulent and therefore null and void. It is hereby set aside.”
It equally held that the second respondent/purchaser should be paid all his expenses/payment for the purchase of the property jointly and severally by the appellant and the bank, which is also the first defendant.
Further, the court held that the appellant was to pay to the bank all his indebtedness fully calculated and audited within three months of being informed of the amount and that the bank would release the certificate of occupancy back to him.
Subsequently, when the appellant failed to settle his indebtedness, the bank applied for issuance of a writ of execution against the immovable property of the appellant. It also sought an order compelling the occupants of the property to vacate the premises immediately. But the appellant opposed the application.
After hearing the application, the same trial Judge decided to grant the orders as prayed, holding that the appellant had no right to remain on the landed property, which had already been sold to the second respondent, when the appellant refused to settle his indebtedness. In the circumstance, he re-instated and reasserted the previous sale to the second respondent.