The family is brawling over the late former military governor’s estate even when he left behind a will.
By Saviour Imukudo June 29, 2023
The wife of a former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mosun Nkanga, has evicted her step-children from the family house in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Mosun is the wife of Idongesit Nkanga, a former military governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Mr Nkanga, a retired air commodore, who died of COVID-19 in December 2020, had six children – two females from Mosun, and four males from another woman, Joanna Achibong.
He married Mosun in 2007 after his marriage to Joanna was dissolved by a court.
Mrs (Mosun) Nkanga evicted the step-children and their mother from the family house in Asokoro, Abuja, on 6 June this year.
The eviction followed an order of a High Court in Abuja which, on 24 March 2022, issued her a warrant for “an immediate possession of two rooms apartment” in her late husband’s estate at No. 3A and B Mary Slessor Close, off Udo Udoma, off Yakubu Gowon Road, in Asokoro.
But the four children – Utibeabasi Nkanga, Etietop Nkanga, Lance Nkanga and Ini Idara Nkanga (applicants) have gone back to court, asking the court to reinstate them into the house.
The applicants, through their lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, are asking a High Court in the FCT to set aside the warrant of possession of premises issued in favour of their stepmother.
Mrs Nkanga first sued Joanna and her four children in 2021 over their “refusal” to grant her access to her late husband’s house in Abuja.
On 17 March 2022, the court held that disallowing her access to possession of her matrimonial home violated her fundamental human rights to own and have an interest in her late husband’s property.
The court barred Joanna and her children from restraining or interfering with Mosun’s right to live in or enjoy her matrimonial home, pending the issuance of a letter of administration or grant of probate over the estate.
The court on 24 March 2022 issued a warrant of possession of premises, but Mrs Nkanga and the court enforcement department executed the warrant on 6 June 2023, more than a year since the order was given. Joanna and her four children were ejected from the building with their home appliances, luggage and other personal belongings.
In the current suit, the four children (applicants), through their lawyer, Mr Effiong, are asking the court to set aside the warrant for possession and execution of its 17 March 2022 judgment and their eviction from the family house.
Mr Effiong described the eviction of his clients as unlawful and the “refusal” to allow them access to their home as a violation of their fundamental human rights.
He said by virtue of Sections 20 and 21 of the Recovery of Premises Act, Cap 544, a warrant of possession can only be issued to enforce the judgment in an action by a landlord against a tenant and argued that the applicants were not tenants.
Mr Effiong told PREMIUM TIMES that the warrant issued on 24 March last year had expired before its execution and thus rendered its execution illegal and liable to be set aside. He said the warrant has three months lifespan but was executed after a year.
According to him, the court did not give Mrs Nkanga the exclusive right to possess, live and enjoy the property but only restrained his clients from interfering with the respondent’s right to access and possession of the premises pending the issuance of a letter of administration or grant of probate over the estate.
He described Mrs Nkanga’s action as an abuse of court order and therefore prayed the court to set aside the warrant of possession.
Former governor will
According to an extract of the late former governor’s will, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the premises has two wings – 3A and 3B with two duplexes.
The former governor gave one wing, 3A, to his wife, Mosun.
For the second wing, 3B, where he lived before his death, he gave it to his children to live as a family house on the condition that it should be reverted to his wife, Mosun, when his last son, Ini Idara, turned 30 years.
Mr Effiong told our reporter that Mr Nkanga’s last son, Ini-Idara is 25 years and that Mrs Nkanga should not have taken possession of the building until Ini Idara is 30, as stated in the will.
Mrs Nkanga, he said, has not gotten the letter of administration or grant of probate over the estate as directed by the court before taking possession of the premises and described her action as an abuse of court processes.
Mrs Nkanga’s lawyer, Marvin Omorogbe, declined comments when contacted, saying that the matter was before the court and that he did not have the permission of his client to talk to the press on the matter.
When contacted, Mrs Nkanga said she could not comment since it was before the court. She, however, asked our reporter to find out who violated the will before the court came in to take possession of the property.
Mr Effiong, in his response, said that Mrs Nkanga has no respect for the will. He claimed she has also evicted his clients from their father’s house in Uyo and the village in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, where the former governor hails from.
Source: Premium Times