A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has ordered the business mogul, Chief Cletus Ibeto to refund the sum of N3, 295,000,000 to indigenous oil firm, Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited,being the sum received for the failed land transaction.
This is as the Court affirmed Ibeto’s right to Statutory Right of Occupancy over the property within Reclamation Road Layout at Bundu Ama Community with a cumulative area of 22.6536 hectares, the subject of a Deed of Sub-lease dated 19th March, 2010 and registered as No. 47 at Page 47 in Volume 280 of the Lands Registry office in Port Harcourt.
Delivering judgement in a suit brought against Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited and SunGreen Oil and Gas Limited (a sister company to Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited), Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli, maintained that the $3,000,000 given to Ibeto by the indigenous oil company was not given as part of the payment for the purchase of the land.
Enebeli affirmed the validity of the Deed of Assignment registered as No. 37 at Page 37 in Volume 359 of the Lands Registry office in Port Harcourt executed between Nigeria Technical Company Limited (NITECO) and Sungreen Oil and Gas Limited, a subsidiary of Dozzy.
The judge also granted an injunction restraining Cletus Ibeto and his group of companies, their servants, agents and privies from continuing to lay claim over Sungreen Oil and Gas Limited land registered as No. 37 at Page 37 in Volume 359 of the Lands Registry office in Port Harcourt measuring an area approximately 122 hectares situate at Niteco Shipyard layout, Reclamation Phase II, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The court also granted an injunction restraining Dozzy Oil and Gas from trespassing into the piece of land measuring 22.6536 hectares, which forms part of the piece and parcel of land registered as No. 43 at Page 43 in Volume 6 of the Lands Registry office in Port Harcourt.
Recall that Ibeto had in the cause of trial presented as evidence of his title to part of the disputed land, a title document which recitals bore the grant of 40 acres from their lessors but had inserted into it a schedule and survey plan measuring approximately 22 hactares which was at variance with the counterpart copy in the Lands Registry.
The development prompted the subpoena of the current and past Registrars of Titles of the Lands Registry Office in Port Harcourt, Messrs Sylvanus Nwanpila and Henry Uzo, who both, under oath and cross examination stated that the size of the land contained in the Deed of Sub-lease registered as No. 47/47/280 in the Lands Registry Office sub-leased to Ibeto Energy Development Company by Odoh Holdings Limited is only 7.8 hectares not 22.6 hectares, that a sub-lessee cannot acquire a greater interest than that of its lessor, and that the Lands Registry office had in the past written to Ibeto to return the Deed of Sub-lease mistakenly certified for it to the Lands Registry.
Also, recall that Dozzy had in the cause of trial tendered the composite plan prepared by the Surveyor General of Rivers State, which clearly showed that Ibeto encroached by 172011.64 square meters into the 122 hactares of land sold to Sungreen Oil and Gas Limited by NITECO.
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