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Statement of fact by Sonnie Ayere on 4a, Ojora Road, Ikoyi

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It is imperative at this time to address series of publications in national dailies and online posts regarding a “supposed eviction” of Mr. Sonnie Ayere, a former Director of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company and Founder/Chairman Dunn Loren Merrifield, from his previous residence at 4A Ojora Street, Ikoyi – Lagos.

Following these reports which were published and posted without appropriate confirmation, it is therefore necessary to issue this statement to clear any smear of character or misrepresentation on the personality of Mr. Sonnie Ayere as well as the events leading to the court case which has since been amicably resolved.

A major renovation to bring the derelict property of 4A Ojora road to modern standards and costing Mr. Ayere over N11m was carried out in 2006 and 2007, following the negotiation of the lease to rent the aforesaid property.

This renovation amount was incurred by him on the promise at the time of the lease-negotiations for a first right of refusal to buy the property in the event the owner wanted to sell.

The estate agent had however misguided Mr. Ayere on the landlord’s willingness to sell which had prompted the major investment at the time.

After agreeing to execute the lease without the right of first refusal clause, the landlord, Messers Osita Aduba after 2 years of a 3 year lease, wrote to Mr. Ayere to vacate the premises on the basis of asbestos, with the true intent of renting the newly renovated property at a much higher rent (reflecting its current new standard).

This was with no intention of compensation to Mr. Ayere for the vast amount of renovation done or high standard of maintenance accorded to the premises. This instituted a lawsuit which was instigated by Mr. Ayere in 2010. Court records are available.

The High Court matter was before Hon. Justice O.O Femi Adeniyi, with Mr. Ayere ably represented by Barrister O.O. Oniyire Esq. Initial judgment was given on the 29 th October 2014.

The matter was thereafter taken to the Court of Appeal, part of which a matter in court requires fair hearing. The appeal was amicably resolved on 30th October 2016 in the spirit of No Victor, No Vanquished.

The willingness hence, of both parties to amicably resolve this dispute with the resolution of the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Ayere is a distinguished Nigerian and will not at any time, take advantage of anyone contrary to the negative reports previously published to bring his character to disrepute. Mr. Sonnie Ayere was never at any time evicted from the property neither was there a rent backlog of N40m to repay.

The matter is now mutually resolved and closed by the concerned parties. We therefore request absolute respect for the privacy of all parties concerned.

For: Sonnie Ayere Esq.



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