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High Court judge seeks declaration as beneficiary of Akintola’s estate




THE legal battle over who qualifies as a beneficiary of the estate of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, has taken an interesting twist with Justice Ladiran Akintola of the High Court of Oyo State Ibadan Division, declaring that his paternity status is not in doubt and could not be determined in the court.

The judge has earlier approached an Ibadan High Court seeking to be declared a beneficiary in the estate of the late Premier. In his statement of claims, the claimant stated that the two letters of administration dated January 4, 1968 and October 23, 2007 pleaded in the statement of claim showed that he is not by law a beneficiary of the estate of the late Chief Akintola.

In the suit, which had Chief Abayami Akintola and two others as respondents, the judge stated that he is a biological child of the late Chief S. L. Akintola and that his compliant is on the estate of the deceased. According to him, he is claiming to be a beneficiary of the estate not to determine his paternity suit.

But counsel to the respondents contended that only the persons so listed in the letters of administration could sue or maintain an action as beneficiary or beneficiaries of the late premier. According to a former Minister of State for Finance and a respondent in the suit, Dr. Abimbola Akintola, her father was an upright man, a devout Christian and an advocate of faithfulness in marriage, who was only married to her late mother, Chief Faderera Abeke Akintola, who begot all his children namely Omodele (deceased), Abayomi, Abimbola (herself), Ladipupo (deceased) and Tokunboh (deceased).

But in a document made available to The Guardian, the judge said, as a biological son of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, he could not have filed a suit to contest for his paternity status but for the court to declare him as a beneficiary in the estate of late premier. “No man can approach a court to be declared a biological son,” he added.

Justice Akintola said the suit marked: No I/451/2013, was his last resort as the respondents had allegedly rebuffed all entreaties made in the past by respected traditional leaders to resolve the case. The court has slated March 16, 2016 for hearing on the suit.

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