…Deputy Chief Registrar, Chief Judge, Asst. Comp. of Prisons Fingered
…Uba, His Lawyer Offered Me N500,000 Bribe – Deputy Chief Registrar
By Iteveh Ekpokpobe,
Thursday, March 29, 2018, was a normal sunny work-day for residents of Orita Challenge, Ibadan, Oyo State. It was not for Oyo state based Nnewi billionaire, Mr. Joel Uba.
His property at No. 44 Adebele Street beside Best Motel, along Odo Ona Elewe Road, Orita Challenge, Ibadan, Oyo state, was under siege. The property is worth over 500 million naira.
One Assistant Comptroller of the Nigerian Prisons Service, (now Nigerian Correctional Service) Sesan Adeola, allegedly invaded the property. He had in his company, one Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye, Deputy Chief Registrar of Oyo State Judiciary, a bunch of hoodlums and about 30 Policemen headed by one Inspector Tanko, numbering. They stormed the property to dispossess his tenants without any notice, posted or verbal, Joel Uba, would lament.
Uba, recounts bitterly that the property over five million naira worth, were destroyed and catered away by hoodlums following the activities of the accosters.
According to him, he was not only psychologically destabilized, but was also physical shaken. “My property was being fraudulently taken over by these people.”
Leader of the assault, Assistant Comptroller of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Sesan Adeola, said they were acting on court orders. He brandished court documents.
A paper he threw at the face of Mr. Uba revealed that a judgment was passed against Mr. Joel Uba, in a ruling delivered in 2010 by His Lordship, Honorable Justice Mashud A. A. Abass of the High Court of Oyo State in the Ibadan judicial division in Suit No. 1/1304/ 2009; Access Bank PLC Vs Joel Chuks Ventures Lmited & ANR.
The ruling had foreclosed the property. The assailants were acting on orders of court.
Mr. Uba, however, finds the action, an infringement on the integrity of legal processes, as he had filed an appeal with an order of injunction to stay the execution of the High Court ruling, pending the determination of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Judicial Division in appeal number CA/IB/ 372/2017.
The dilemma lies now, in the fact that, the Oyo State Judiciary has declared ignorance to the existing appeal instituted by Mr. Uba.
In lieu of this, Mr. Uba filed a petition to the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muktar Abimbola on Friday 31, May, 2019 titled “Allegation of Abuse of Office and Misinformation by the Officers of Oyo State Judiciary against Mr. Joel Uba leading to illegal execution of judgment of pending appeal, appeal N0 CA/IB/372/2017 and Suit No. 1/1304/2009”.
In that petition, he disclosed that the Registrar/ Sheriffs of the Oyo State Judiciary, maliciously misinformed the Sheriff that, he (Uba) had no appeal pending in a 2016 enquiry in the case of Intercontinental Bank Vs Joel Chuks Ventures Ltd & 1.
He stressed that the misinformation made the state to proceed with execution of a judgment, already appealed.
Mr. Uba disclosed that he was never served with the ‘Notice of Auction Sale’ by the Sheriff to enable him prepare. He called on the Chief Judge to commence a full scale investigation and bring the culprits of the alleged misdemeanor to book.
Nothing happened. The Chief Judge, Justice Muktar Abimbola, did not reply the petition. Uba sent another petition which met the same fate. Inaction!
Uba is accusing the Oyo State Judiciary of a conspiracy of silence. He says the silence of judiciary is costing him a chunk of his fortune, in a petition he filled to the NationalJudicial Commission (NJC).
How It All Began
Like every businessman, Mr Joel Uba, took a loan of N10 million from Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank). It was sometime around, 2008.
Ori Adeyemo, forensic consultant, had just audited his account, and discovered that Zenith Bank, Intercontinental and First bank were owing him to which he wrote a petition to Chartered Institute of Bankers
“Zenith bank paid me and told me to close my mouth which I have evidence to prove that they paid me because they paid the money into my account. Then after that, Intercontinental refused to pay because they were holding the collateral of one of my properties. I took them to court because they failed to pay me. They filed a counter claim.”
The property under contention was used as collateral. Eventually, the loan facility was granted.
Economic factors and sundry life challenges affected the fidelity of the borrower, Uba. A case was filed by the Intercontinental Bank against him. Years later, a ruling was passed. He is to forfeit his property as indemnity for the loan.
Uba narrates that he was unaware of the default judgment against him until later. He was at his country home at that particular point, sometimes around 2010.
“I hired a lawyer through Ori Adeyemo, his name is Roy Bassey in Lagos and now left Ibadan and went to my hometown. Before I knew what was happening, I discovered that Roy was a fraudster, they bought him over and he never went to court. I think he made only one appearance and judgment was given against me.”
He approached an appeal court immediately he got wind of the ruling. The appeal is to ensure a stay of execution of the High Court ruling. However, Uba believes that is a deliberate plot by the Oyo State Judiciary to rid him of his property.
Uba alleges that the Deputy Chief Registrar, Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye, is masterminding and leading the moves to take over his property. According to him, the execution documents were forged, pointing out that the Deputy Chief Registrar fraudulently signed for the Chief Judge of the State.
He has filed several petitions to the Oyo State Chief Judge without response.
In a petition to then Comptroller General, Nigerian Prisons Service, Uba alleged that the assailants were using forged courts documents in buying properties masterminded by Sesan Adeola, now Assistant Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Services Ekiti State in connivance with the Deputy Chief Registrar, Oyo State High Court, Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye.
Uba alleged that the Assistant Comptroller had been in the attitude of buying properties with forged documents siting cases of the Samadi Hotel beside Abata Police Station and other five properties situated in different strategic locations in Ibadan.
Uba disclosed that he had approached Sesan Adeola in the most Civil Manner but to his utter chagrin, the Assistant Comptroller started issuing threats and verbal abuse on him.
In the same vein, Mr Uba, has filed a petition to the Chairman, National Judicial Council, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The petition is titled, “Report of an ongoing scandal in Oyo State Judiciary involving the Deputy Chief Registrar, Mrs. O.A Adetujoye and the Chief Judge of Oyo state in Re-Suit No. 1/304/2009 Access Bank Plc V. Joel Chuks Ventures Ltd.”
He alleged that the Deputy Chief Registrar Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye was instrumental to making sure that service of the necessary courts process to him were denied.
“Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye alongside the rented Policemen further carried another execution at my building that is used as a school situated at Plot 23 Tanimowo Layout, Ino Road, Ibadan, Oyo State wherein all the students in the building were chased out even up till this moment.”
Uba accused the Deputy Chief Registrar of forgery and falsification of document in order to allegedly perpetuate the fraudulent act.
“Importantly, Mrs. O.A. Adetujoye, also forged a document of execution where she stepped into the shoes of the judge by appending a signature- by forging the signature of the judge with the sinister motive of dispossessing our client of his property despite the pending nature in the court of appeal. She has once boasted of how connected she is in the judiciary and how I cannot do anything but to succumb to her whims and caprices.”
He said it was after her statement that he filed a formal petition to the Chief Judge of Oyo State which was met by silence.
My Life Under Threat – Uba
Nevertheless, Mr Uba is accusing all parties involved for threat to life. He said he has recorded an alarming number of incessant calls from phone numbers he does not have in his contact.
“I have been plagued by different exoteric unknown numbers. The callers bearing well over 18 numbers have been issuing threats and telling me not to ever step foot in Ibadan or else I will not live to tell the stories.”
Some of the numbers as disclosed by Mr Uba, include; 08130492920, 08144755342, 08126657378, 08130492820, 08090539668 amongst others.
Uba is calling on security agencies, the National Judical Commission (NJC), and other relevant stakeholders in the matter to come to his aid as he was falling slowly to the weight of corruption and oppression.
He is also also appealing to the relevant stakeholders to investigate the named officers with all parties put under serious check and scrutiny.
Uba and His Lawyer, Offered Me N500,000 Bribe – Deputy Chief Registrar Cries Out
When contacted via telephone, the Deputy Chief Registrar, Mrs Adetujoye denied the allegations which she described as spurious.
“I am a Deputy Chief Registrar in charge of enforcement. I neither grant nor deliver judgment; I don’t have the power to do anything. My own is obedient servant. Do it this way and do it that way. The letter came for execution, there was a judgment of the court and the letter came. My job is to see if there is an appeal? And if there’s no appeal, I sign to execute and so I instructed my officers, go and check all the necessaries and if nothing happened, go and do it. And that’s exactly what I did.”
She disclosed that at the time of execution, she was not aware of any appeal or stay of execution filed by Mr Joel Uba.
“I will forward the number of Mr Chima Agbaje to you, who is the lawyer on the other side and who knows much about the matter so that at least you would get to the root of the case because I don’t know anything. Mine is go and I go. If he says he filed an appeal, please can you just ask him if he wrote to my department for a pending appeal? Or that there’s a stay of execution? Please ask him. Wherever there’s judgment, the other party that the judgment was ruled against could file one, a stay of execution, two, a notice of appeal and then write a letter copying my office.”
The Deputy Chief Registrar, accused Mr Joel Uba and his lawyer, Mr. Falade of offering her a bribe of N500,000, which she turned down. She said the bribe was to allow them reopen the case by squeezing in a Stay of Execution Order.
“As a matter of fact, in the heat of the whole matter, something happened. Please ask him if he did not come with one Mr Falade, his lawyer, offering me money, begging me to reopen the case, please ask him. And I said my integrity is intact that I’m a career woman. I’m going to go higher and higher. Yes, he said he would give me Five Hundred Thousand Naira if I reopened the case and I said No. So ask Falade how he went at the back to reopen the case? When they left my office and I said no, I cannot do that and I don’t have any order from court to go and reopen, I don’t know how Falade went about it. What can I do? I don’t have anything to hide. My integrity is intact. I have served for the magistrate for a very longtime by God’s grace and it’s the grace of God up looking up to. Mr Joel Uba has been calling and threatening me and I have even gone to the police station to report but I told them to not do anything. Because it is normal, if you have houses and they seal the houses, anyone can react anyway.”
“I have even reported him to his recent lawyer because he now has another lawyer. I received a call from one lawyer from one state and I explained everything to the lawyer. The lawyer now said thank you. The lawyer now requested that I should send everything to the lawyer but I said I cannot send anything that he must write a letter, because no document must go out my office without the authorization of my boss. That he should write a letter and I will send two verified true copies of my documents to him.”
Meanwhile all effort to reach the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Muktar Abimbola, via his phone number 08033*****89 proved abortive. Same with the Assistant Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Sesan Adeola.