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Suit against family estate challenged

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High Court

Some grandchildren of late Joseph Theodore N. Caulcrick, have urged an Igbosere High Court, Lagos, to dismiss a suit filed against them over the properties of their late grandfather.

The deceased grandchildren, Oluwole Caulcrick, Akinkunle Caulcrick, Akinwale Caulcrick and Rotibi Caulcrick made the appeal in a response to a suit filed against them by Mrs. Jumoke Asiodu, Mr. Adeniyi Soyode, Mr. Akintunde Caulcrick and Joseph Caulcrick, who are also grandchildren of late Joseph T. N. Caulcrick.

Counsel to the five applicants, Adedunmade Onibokun, had urged the court to restrain the respondents from holding out themselves or parading themselves as the executors of their late grandfather’s estate.

The applicants have also asked the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining them or their agents for further dealing attempting to take possession of the properties or withdrawing money from the estate account of late Caulcrick, pending the determination of the suit filed by them in respect of the estate.

However, the respondents, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by their counsel, Felix Nwokolo, challenged the jurisdiction of the court and urged the court for an order dismissing the applicants’ suit on that ground.

The respondents in a counter-affidavit averred that the affidavit in support of applicants’ motion is full of lies, half-truth and innuendos.

The deponent, Akinkunle Caulcrick averrred that the deceased left a will at his death, which was admitted to probate on November 18, 1952, with the following people appointed by him as executors: Ayodele Salako, Nora O. Pereira and Akinwunmi Hezekiah.

He added that the executors administered the estate for several years, opened account number 2000496296 with the First Bank of Nigeria, where the proceeds from the estate are lodged and distributed accordingly to the beneficiaries of the estate.

The deponent averred further that since the demise of all the executors, the applicants had, suo motu and without any authority from other grand children and beneficiaries of the estate, been administering the estate as their own personal property for the last 15 years without any court order.

Akinkunle also stated that after the death of Pereira, the last executor to die, the applicants fraudulently and without any court order, changed the signatory to the estate’s account with the First bank of Nigeria.

He swore that the respondents in the suit, were duly appointed as executors of the estate, by a meeting of the larger family, held on June 18, 2016, in Lagos, which have majority of late Caulcrick’s family in attendance, adding that the applicants were duly invited for the meeting, but chose no to attend on the ground that they are senior grandchildren of the deceased, and cannot attend any meeting convened by their junior cousins.


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