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Court Orders Paramount Ruler To Quit Property, Pay N10m Damages

A Benin High Court has ordered paramount ruler (Otaru) of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh Ikelebe III, to vacate Bendel Hotel, Auchi, belonging to Orbit Building Society Limited, not later than 31 days.

The hotel is located in the plot of land housing the present palace of Auchi.

Justice Esohe Ikponmwen who gave the order while delivering judgement in a suit filed by the Managing Director of Orbit Building Society Limited,‎ Ikokhode Julius, requesting the monarch to quit the property, also ordered the monarch to pay the sum of N10 million as damages to the claimant.

Orbit Building Society had in 1997 filed the suit challenging the Otaru to quit the property located at old Government Reservation Area, Auchi.

The property was said to have been bought by the claimant from Edo State government in 1993, with an agreement to continue to keep the hotel running and provide employment opportunity for the people of Auchi community.

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Justice Ikponmwen who granted the claimant’s right to take full possession of the property as its rightful owner, stressed that the company acquired the said property in 1993, adding that since the second defendant has no tie with the property, he should vacate it within 31 days.

The Judge who said the damages would have been bigger, owing to the number of years the second respondent occupied the property, stressed that the sum was awarded in line with the demand of the claimant.

He then awarded five million as general damages and five million as exemplary damages against the Otaru.

Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Ikokhode said “I am happy that the court has given me my property back after 22 years.”‎


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