Members of a royal family in Badagry, Lagos State, are at loggerheads over an inherited property worth N300million naira.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that one of the members of the royal family, Prince Adebowale James, who took his brother, Prince Semasa James, to court alleged that the defendant, Prince Semasa, had cheated his 26 siblings of N300million inheritance from their late father, late Oba Afolabi James.
During the trial, Adebowale insisted that the defendant had conspired to cheat, steal from them by fraudulently disposing off trusted property and for forgery.
While responding to the questions of the prosecuting counsel, Mr O O Olabisi, of the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), the witness narrated how Semasa, the sole administrator of their late father’s estate, abused his position and mismanaged funds. Adebowale said the fraudulent actions of the defendant were revealed when he cheated them out of funds from the sale of a property at Dideolu Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“My dad died on January, 30, 2002; he was survived by 27 children and he left a whole lot of valuable property that I cannot fully mention in choice areas like Surulere, Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island and Badagry. My father did not leave a will to the best of my knowledge.
“The first defendant (Semasa) is my half brother, he is the eight child of 27 children and he is the fourth son. He is also the only administrator of the estate and the signatory to the account.
“Last year, on behalf of the family, I helped the first defendant get a buyer for the family property at Dideolu Estate, Victoria Island; I found a developer and the property was sold for N300 million.
“The money was paid in full and he (Semasa) took half of the money for himself and sent peanuts to the rest of the family, which was not our agreement. We had initially agreed on a sharing formula and everyone was to get an equal amount regardless of age.
“The beneficiaries, who were 26 in number, were supposed to get N10 million each, I received approximately N7 million while others got N5million each. The first defendant kept N190 million for himself and shared N110million for the rest of us.”
Adebowale further told the court that after the first defendant allegedly cheated his siblings of their Dideolu Estate inheritance, the family discovered that he had illegally leased a property located at Plot 282 Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos to Ecobank Plc.
While being cross-examined by defence counsel to Semasa, Mr Martin Oyibo, Adebowale told the court that he and other younger siblings had difficulty accessing funds for their school fees and upkeep when the first defendant, Semasa, managed the estate.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case until November 28, December 12 and 13 for continuation of trial.