No Exclusive Rights: Court Upholds Homeowners’ Control Over Pearl Gardens Estate, Dismisses Developer’s Suit

Taiwo Ajayi
4 Min Read
The Lagos State High Court has dismissed a suit filed by CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Company Limited against Pearl Gardens Estate homeowners in Sangotedo Village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, seeking exclusive right to take over the management of the estate.

Justice Olubukola Aigbokhaivbo, in her judgment, held that the property developer was not entitled to the reliefs sought in its Originating Summons.

According to a certified true copy of the judgement obtained yesterday, the judgment on the suit No: LD/6834GCM/2023, was delivered by the judge on March 11, 2024.

CMB had, on December 15, 2023, filed the suit asking the court for a consequential order to take over the exclusive management, administration and control, particularly manning the estate gate.

The claimant had also asked the court to restrain the defendants from interfering with management of the estate by the property firm. The defendants in the suit were Mr Felix Obiakor, Mr Martins Ajayi-Obe (representatives of the Homeowners of Pearl Gardens Estate) and Oyetubo Jokotade Estate Resources.

However, in her judgment, Justice Aigbokhaivbo referred the parties to the previous judgment delivered by Justice Michael Olokoba of the Lagos State High Court, Epe on December 1,2021. She recalled that Justice Olokoba was very unambiguous in his judgment and there was no pronouncement on the issue of who had the right to the management of the estate and did not form part of the claim before the court.

“It is very important to point out at this juncture, that the purpose of a consequential order is to give effect to the decision or judgment of the court, but not to grant an entirely new relief, which was not contested by parties at the trial and which does not especially tally with the original reliefs claimed in the suit.

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“Upon the foregoing, it is not within the power of this court to grant a relief not sought or contemplated by the parties in suit No: LD/064GCMW/2015, under the guise of a consequential order, especially as a consequential order is not merely incidental to a decision, but one that necessarily flows directly from, and consequent upon it.

“The issue for determination is, therefore, resolved against the claimant. In the light of the above, I hold that the claimant is not entitled to the reliefs sought in its originating summons. This suit is, therefore, dismissed,” the judge held.

Justice Olokoba, in the previous judgment, had declared that the interference and infringement on the claimants rights by barricade and restriction of movement of the estate residents by CMB and its agents was unlawful.

Reacting to the judgment, Mr Martins Ajayi-Obe, President, Pearl Gardens Estate Homeowners Community Association (PGEHCA), disclosed that the Jokotade family (original owners of the land) had sacked CMB as their agent prior to the delivery of the December 2021 judgment.

He said:” As at the time of the delivery of the judgment of December 2021, the PGEHCA was in charge of running the estate and also manning the entrance gate.

“ We, the residents, thank God for this new judgment. As the owners of our properties with proper documentation, we had to come together to take over the management of the estate because CMB became exploitative and infringed on the rights of residents.”

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