Efforts to resolve a marital dispute between former Lagos gubernatorial aspirants of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, and his estranged wife, Folashade, have hit a brick wall.
The couple had appeared before a Federal High Court in Lagos following a suit initiated by the wife seeking an order of perpetual injunction against her estranged husband from laying claims to the legal, equitable or beneficial ownership or Directorship of Redbrick Homes International Limited, Ashlead Estates Limited.
The presiding judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji at the resumption of trial recused himself from further hearing of the matter since efforts by the court to help the couple reach an amicable settlement failed.
Their lawyers had informed the court that they were unable to settle amicably and accept the terms of the settlement they both signed.
Consequently, Justice Faji transferred the suit to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge.
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Folashade had through her lawyer, Dr Bayo Adaralegbe, dragged Gbadamosi before the court alongside two firms, Redbrick Homes International Limited and Ashlead Estates Limited, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/752/21, urged the court to restrain Gbadamosi from claiming full or partial ownership or entering into any part of the Estates, located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State and the 100 (one Hundred) plots of undeveloped land at Oko-Olomi, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State.
She also asked for an order to enter consent judgment in line with the terms of settlement dated July 16, 2021, executed by the parties to this suit.
Folashade in her affidavit in support of the motion stated that the first defendant, Gbadamosi and herself had a dispute in respect of the ownership of the two firms (“Redbrick” and “Ashland” respectively) where they were previously, both directors and shareholders.
She added that they both voluntarily and mutually referred the dispute to a Lagos Multi door Courthouse before an Accredited Mediator, Mr Ajibola Ajitena.
She also stated that the two of them in the company of their Solicitors attended a meeting presided over by the Mediator at Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, on June 21, 2021.
She stated that at the mediation meeting, the first defendant and herself voluntarily and mutually reached certain and definite terms of the agreement at the meeting.
The claimant stated that by the definite terms of agreement mutually and voluntarily reached between them before the Mediator on June 21, 2021, the first defendant signed a Deed of Transfer of all his Shares in Redbrick and Ashlead to her.
She added that the first defendant also resigned his Directorship from Redbrick and Ashlead and allegedly wrote letters to the bankers of the 2nd Defendant notifying them that he was no longer a signatory to the accounts of the 2nd Defendant.
She also stated that in addition to the above, they both agreed to execute a Terms of Settlement to codify and ratify the definite terms of agreement mutually and voluntarily reached on June 21, 2021, before the Mediator.
Consequently, they executed terms of settlement dated July 26, 2021, on the same date at the law firm of Babalakin & Co before a Notary Public, Mr Osagie Agbonlahor, witnessed by Dr Bayo Adaralegbe, representing her and Mr Dapo Opakunle representing the Defendants.
She stated further that under the agreement reached before the mediator, and by the Deeds of Transfer and Surrender and resignation letters signed by the first defendant, she commenced and completed steps of changing the shareholding and directorship of the second and third defendants at the Corporate Affairs Commission to exclude the first defendant as well as increase the authorised share capital of the second Defendant.
The claimant while undertaking to pay damages to cover any injury that may be suffered by the defendants, further stated that she verily believed that it is in the best interest of justice for the court to enter the consent judgement based on the definite terms of the agreement voluntarily and mutually reached by the parties on June 21, 2021.
The claimant stated that she solely promoted, funded and mostly operated the second respondent Redbrick, and the third respondent “Ashland”.
She further stated that when she met the first defendant in 1999 in the United Kingdom, she was already well established in her career with properties personally owned by her in England and a thriving IT training company in England, under the name and style of SadeTech.
She stated that she sold off all her personal properties in the United Kingdom and pooled together approximately the sum of £4 million BPS, proceeds of sale which she used to promote and provide as start-up capital for the second and third defendants.
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She stated further that the first respondent has not been as involved in the running of the companies, but has actively been pursuing his political career.
However, Gbadamosi, in a counter-claims asked the court for an order of Interlocutory injunction restraining his estranged wife, her privies, and agents from further selling, transferring or pledging the assets of the second and third defendants including the second defendant’s landed properties known as Amen Estate Phases 1 & 2 and Amen City at Ibeju Lekki Local Government of Lagos State including 100 plots at Oko-Olomi all covered by; Deed of Assignment dated 1/7/2004.
He averred that he is the sole beneficial and legal owner of the 60 per cent ordinary shares and 50 per cent ordinary shares of the authorized share capital allotted to him by the second and third defendants respectively, and at no time was a Trust Deed executed or issued showing that he holds the shares in trust for his estranged wife or any person whatsoever.
He stated further that his estranged wife and himself are both directors and shareholders in the two companies.
According to Gbadamosi, he has been the Managing Director and his estranged wife, an Executive Director, adding that they are both signatories to the Bank accounts of the two companies and either of them can sign to withdraw money from the accounts with the concurrence of the other.
He stated that sometime in 2018 he left the control of the companies to his estranged wife so that he could concentrate on pursuing his political career and ambition, but never relinquished his interest or title in both companies.
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He averred that his estranged wife got into a fight with him and made several threats, which includes; threats of divorce, and public ridicule, amongst others and ‘’warned me never to return to the house where we both lived at No 1, Gbadamosi Close, Amen Estate, Eleko Beach Road, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, or face public humiliation’’.
He stated that on June 14, 2021, his estranged wife went out and did not sleep in the house adding that he needed to visit the bank to withdraw money both for the office and personal use, so he packed the cheque books in his car but first of all went to Lekki Phase 2 to attend to a security concern.
He stated that when he got to Keystone Bank, he was denied access to make a transaction on the second defendant Account No. 1007014841, on the ground that the signature on the mandate form is not his.
He added that on further inquiry, he discovered that it was a different signature from mine that was appended against my name by his estranged wife, who has been operating the account.
He also stated that upon his return to the house, he was held up at the gate by some mobile policemen whom his wife had instructed not to let him in.
He stated that when he spoke with the Commander in charge informing him not to interfere in a domestic affair.
He stated that he thereafter walked into the house on feet and left the car parked outside the Estate and picked up a few things to go to lodge in a hotel so that things can cool off.
He further stated that he was about to leave when the Defendant to Counter-Claim/Respondent charged after me, flung the door of his car open and snatched away the cheque books violently, raining abuses on him.
Thereafter, he went to Radisson Blu Hotel to lodge, cleared his head, and later contacted Mr Ajibola Ajitena, an Accredited Mediator to reach out to his estranged wife and book for mediation of the dispute to prevent the dispute from turning into public embarrassment because of my political career and ambition.
He averred further that the mediation was initiated to settle the domestic dispute and not dispute of ownership of the second and third defendants, which the mediation later turned out to be.
He stated that at the end of the mediation, he was compelled to sign the purported terms of the settlement, which was not of his free volition but as a result of undue influence, duress, and fraudulent misrepresentation of material facts, mistake and threat.