Efforts by the family of late Chief Sunday Ogunyade to take possession of their property from Mobil Oil Nigeria after the expiration of lease is taking a new turn as the latter insists that the agreement is still in force.
The Ogunyade family and the management of Mobil Nigeria Plc now 11 Plc differed over actual expiration date of the renewed lease agreement on Mobil Petrol Service Station along Gbagada-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.
Mr Taiwo Ogunyade, son to the late Chief Sunday Ogunyade and one of the appointed administrators of Ogunyade’s estate, owners of the disputed property, said in Lagos on Tuesday that their difference was not settled.
Taiwo, who expressed displeasure over the development, said that the then Mobil Oil Nigeria Ltd enjoyed the property for two decades from 1980 to 2000 when the lease agreement expired.
He said that trouble started when the late Ogunyade confronted Mobil for upward review of the rate as a condition before the renewal of the lease in 2000.
Taiwo, however, said Mobil challenged the proposed upward review in court and argued that it had spent a lot in upgrading the property which added value to it.
According to him, the court reviewed the tenancy rate downward surprisingly and ordered that the lease should be renewed for additional 10 years term from September 1, 2000 to August 31, 2010.
He also claimed that Mobil has not paid a dime after the expiration of the lease agreement on August 31, 2010 and had since then been operating on the property to date.
The development, Taiwo said, pushed the Ogunyade family to lease the property to ASCON Oil for 10 years before eventually selling off the property to them and forwarded a quit notice to Mobil.
He said another lawsuit was filed against them by Mobil in 2013 sequel to this development, challenging the selling-off of the property to ASCON, while still enjoying its business for seven years on expired lease.
However, when contacted, 11 Plc company’s lawyer, Paul Obi, said that the case was still prejudice because it was before Lagos High Court and Court of Appeal.
Obi said that “the truth of the matter is that there is a subsisting judgement of Lagos High Court recognising the right of Mobil to be at that property in the first instance until 2020.
“We have proceeded for contempt, the property was a long lease and it’s going to end by 2020.
“I have told you the much I can say, so that I don’t go contrary to the principle of the court, NIPCO bought Mobil share holding in Mobil Nigeria.
“Every downstream business is based on leasing, the court recognized the right to stay till 2020; the matter is in the court and the case is subjudice.
“Our right has been violated by ASCON that’s why we are here back in court,’’ he insisted.