22nd October, 2010
Self-acclaimed perfect living master, Guru Maharaji may soon be evicted from aÂ 4-bedroom duplex at No. 10 Awolowo Avenue, Old Bodija Estate, Ibadan.
He is said to be occupying the building illegally and has been dragged to court toÂ give up possession of the property..
Mr. Yemi Ajayi, counsel to the owner of the property, Professor Ogunwale Awosika ofÂ the University of Ibadan, UI, has sent a letterÂ to Justice Adesola Lufadeju, who isÂ presiding over a suit no. 1/262/2005 to determine Guru â€™s refusal to give up theÂ property even after a court had ordered him to do so four years ago.
The letter tagged, â€œProf. Ogunwale Awosika & 1 OR Vs Sat Guru Maharajiâ€ reads: â€œAsÂ the new counsel to the plaintiffs/respondents in the above mentioned case, we mostÂ humbly pray the court to fix a date for the delivery of the pending ruling in theÂ matter. The law is settled that justice delayed is justice deniedâ€.
P.M.NEWS gathered that Justice Esan Eni in his judgment delivered on 1 June 2006Â over the matter ordered Guru to vacate the house and Guruâ€™s disobedience of theÂ court order led the plaintiff to apply for warrant for possession which was granted.
The applicant further applied for police escort to eject Guru from the house and theÂ prayer was granted on 14 November 2006.
With 10 armed mobile policemen deployed from Sango Divisional Police Station, GuruÂ was ejected 7am onÂ 7 November 2006 but the same night, Guru went to the said houseÂ and broke the padlock to the gate and re-occupied the premises.
On the 19 January 2007, Guru filed a fresh suit before Justice Lufadeju to set asideÂ the judgment of his brother with a coordinating jurisdiction.
Both parties filed their written addresses on 10 MarchÂ 2009 with the applicantÂ arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to set aside the judgment delivered by hisÂ brother within the same jurisdiction.
Eight issues were raised for determination with a conclusion that the court lacksÂ jurisdiction over the matter, reiterating that it was illegally wrong for a judge toÂ set aside judgment of a justice of coordinating jurisdiction.
The plaintiff/respondents resolved the eight issues against the defendant/applicant,Â arguing that it was wrong for any court to set aside executed judgment because it isÂ not faulted, adding that a stay of execution could not be granted when no appeal isÂ pending.
The respondent submitted that the application before the court lacks merit andÂ should be dismissed with substantial cost for being frivolous, vexatious and abuseÂ of court process.
He asked for N20,000 cost against the defendant.
In his own written address, counsel to Guru, Mr. Bassey Okon argued that there wasÂ misrepresentation of facts, He asked the court to sustain his application.
The crisis started after the demise of the original owner of the house, Mr. ObafemiÂ Awosika on 6 February, 2002 and the transfer of the house to Ogunwale Awosika. WithÂ Obafemi, Guru was paying N15, 000 per annum for the house and when Ogunwale tookÂ over the ownership of the house he raised the cost to N200,000 per annum but GuruÂ said that he could not pay more than N30, 000.
As a result he was asked to pack out of the house but he refused.Â This promptedÂ Ogunwale to get a judgment from Justice Eni of High Court which asked Guru to packÂ out but Guru refused to obey the court order and filed another suit before anotherÂ judge of High Court asking that the judgment that ordered him out of the house beÂ set aside.