By Onozure Dania
THE children of a Lagos socialite, late Chief Olatunji Ajisomo Alabi, a.k.a, Lord Rumens, have filed a suit against the Bank of Industry Investment and Trust Company Ltd before a Lagos State High Court, over alleged mismanagement of their father’s N5.6billion estate. The children who are Babatunde, Oladipo, Subuola, Awojuola, Rukayat, Olukemi and Adeola Alabi, had on May 9, 2017 filed a suit before the court stating that their late father appointed BoI Investment and Trust Company Ltd as trustees of his estate in his will dated July 30, 1996.
The children claimed that since the demise of their father in 1998, BoI Investment and Trust Company has persistently mismanaged his estates and has refused to give proper financial account to them.
Joined in the suit as co-defendant is the managing director of BoI Investment and Trust Company, Mrs Betty Obaseki, and the company secretary, Mr. Simon Odomokwu.
In their statement of claims, they averred that BoI trustees from the onset cleverly applied and got the probate for their late father’s personal properties and not his real properties. Despite this action, the children claimed that BoI Trustees continued to administer the real properties of their late father.
They also claimed that BoI trustees deliberately refused to gather their father’s estate together and only resorted to rent collection while paying meagre sums as annual allowances to the beneficiaries of the estate. According to them, the gross negligence of BoI Trustees of not gathering their late father’s entire property together, led to the loss of some property to third parties.
The property allegedly lost due to the negligence of BoI Trustees includes 38 acres of land located at Mawuko, Abeokuta Ogun State; Property at 51 Majaro Street, Lagos; 23 Makoko Street, Yaba; 285 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; Property at Makoko fishing village and John Street, Awodiora, Apapa, Lagos.
Items in the will allegedly mismanaged and unaccounted for by the trustees includes 26,604 shares with United Bank for Africa, 22,500 shares in Nigerian Bottling Company, 50,000 shares in Total Nigeria Plc, 5268 shares in UAC Plc, and 6,615 shares in Union Bank Plc.
The children also claimed that four gold bars weighing 1000kg contained in their father’s will has been unaccounted for as the trustees insisted that it has not been able to find a local or international buyer for gold bar.
The claimants are, among other things, asking the court for an order removing BoI Investment and Trust Company as trustees of the Estate of late Chief Olatunji Ajisomo Alabi. The claimants also want the court to appoint a new trustees for their father’s estate while directing BoI Trustees to give detailed financial account of late Chief Alabi’s estate from November 2009 to October 2010 and from 2011 till date. The BoI Trustees are yet to file its response in the suit.