Mutiat, the wife of socialite Bankole Oki’s wife is ordered out of her matrimonial home.
Here are thedetails
Except she gets a higher court to upturn the judgement, Mrs Mutiat Bankole-Oki wife of Legal luminary and Lagos Socialite, Chief Tanimose Bankole-Oki will be rendered homeless as she has been sent packing from her home by an appeal court judgement.
The verdict which upturned the judgement of the trial court held that the appellant Trimskay Nigeria Limited has proved its case as the owner of No. 54 Ladipo Labinjo Crescent, Surulere, Lagos and not Mrs. Bankole-Oki.
Following a dispute over the ownership of the property, Trimskay had commenced legal action before the Lagos High Court on May 19, 2005 to recover the property. Bankole-Oki in had then filed a counter claim where she stated that the said property was her matrimonial home and that she was the bona fide owner. On march 11, 2011, the trial court dismissed the claims of Trimskay but granted the counter claims of Mrs. Bankole-Oki.
Not satisfied, the company now approached the Appeal Court where it sought the following :Whether the fact that the appellant had purchased the property herein in issue when the vendors had occupiers on the property who have been shown not to have any title or interest whatsoever can defeat the purchase of the appellant from the vendor, who had shown apple evidence of title
On her side Mrs. Bankole-Oki wanted the court to consider whether a relationship of husband and wife existed between herself and her late husband, Chief T.A. Bankole-Oki, SAN and whether the respondent had proved the existence of the marriage between herself and her deceased husband under Native Law & Customs.
She also wanted the Appeal court to determine whether her husband had not shown intention to designate No. 54 Ladipo Labinjo Crescent, Surulere as a matrimonial/family home for the benefit of his children, the respondent and himself and whether an equitable interest and in the alternative a resulting trust had not been created by the conduct of Chief T.A. Bankole-Oki in respect of the property.
Timskay’s lawyers argued that the fact that a man is married to a woman does not operate as a restriction on the man’s right to dispose of his property more so when the property is shown to be his personal property.
The court stated that “In the opinion of this Court, there is nexus between the respondent’s efforts in the issues raised to establish the existence of the customary marriage first between her and the Chief Bankole-Oki which is the sine quo non to whether or not the relationship had created a matrimonial property allegedly awarded the respondent by the trial court. The existence of the customary marriage serves as the foundation, which cannot be separated from the contention of the appellant. From the facts and evidence adduced herein, I cannot find any evidence of co-ownership.
The Appeal court held that there was no evidence that the property was a family property stating further ” The fact that the respondents and her children live in that house as held by the trial court in its judgement has not elevated that to the status of a family property in law. It is difficult therefore to see how living in the house by respondents and children has created an encumbrance to the vendor to transact on the said property”. Effectively telling Mrs. Mutiat Bankole-Oki to vacate the said property!