From Uche Uche, Damaturu
The Damaturu chief Magistrate court 1, presided over by Gambo Hussaini Jumbam, has sentenced five tenants to pay the sum of N10, 000 each for as many months as they have unlawfully stayed in a landlord’s property without payment and to also vacate the property within seven days ultimatum.
The court delivered the judgment after deliberating on a suit filed by two plaintiffs against the defendants seeking court intervention to quit the tenants whom he said have deliberately refused to vacate the house after receiving balance payment for the rent they paid.
The first plaintiff, Alhaji Bukar Goni, the first landlord of the property, in the suit filed on their behalf by their solicitor, told the court that after selling his house to the second plaintiff, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman in the month of March, 2014, he informed the tenants and thereafter refunded to them balances of the house rents they paid, based on the tenants request.
The first plaintiff stated that the defendants, who are yearly tenants, have mutually agreed with him to refund the balance of the tenancy rates in lieu of the statutory notice so that they would find an alternative accommodation immediately and gave possession to the second plaintiff, but that the tenants have deliberately refused to give possession of the house to the second plaintiff thereafter.
They therefore prayed the court to charge the tenants to vacate the house and to pay profit at the rate of N10,000 per month from March when they collected the balance of their tenancy rates till they render vacant possession of the house in question.
The plaintiffs also made claim of N1 million damage against the defendants for the continuous criminal trespass and damage.
Having listened to the submissions of the two parties through their solicitors, the presiding judge, Gambo Hussaini Jumbam, gave the opinion that the tenants’ landlord relation was already severed when the tenants willingly accepted the balances of their tenancy rents and so has no further relation and further claim against the landlord over the house in question, declaring that they have made themselves tenants-at-will in the said house.
He therefore asked them to comply with the ruling or be forced by the court to vacate the house.