Property dispute: Developer, Cecil Osakwe, loses as Appeal Court nullifies FCT High Court decision

Spread the love


The Court of Appeal in Abuja has unanimously upturned a judgment of Justice Othman Musa of an FCT High Court, directing a property developer, Cecil Osakwe, the CEO of Abeh Signature Ltd, to refund N150 million to Ms. Asabe Waziri.

The three-member justices, led by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, vacated the lower court order on the grounds that the judgment was devoid of credible evidence and constituted a miscarriage of justice.

The appellate court also awarded a N500, 000 cost in favour of Waziri.

It would be recalled that the FCT HIGH Court had, on February 17, 2022, delivered the judgment in which it ordered Ms. Waziri to vacate the 2-bedroom property she purchased from Osakwe.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Ms. Waziri, represented by her lawyer, Henry Eni-Otu, Esq., appealed the decision.

In the appeal number CA/ABJ/CV/246/2022, the appellant, Waziri, sued Abeh Signature Limited as sole respondent.

She argued that the lower court relied only on written statements (affidavits) without considering oral or documentary evidence to support the developer’s claim of money laundering against her

Additionally, the appeal questioned whether the trial judge could decide the case through originating summons given the conflicting information in the affidavits by the parties and the clear documentary evidence presented by the appellant.

In a unanimous verdict, the three-member panel led by Justice Akawu Barka, set aside the judgment of the lower court in its entirety and awarded cost of N500,000.00 in favour of the appellant, Ms. Asabe Waziri.

The certified true copy of the judgment, which was delivered on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

The Court of Appeal declared that the judgment of the trial court was not supported by credible evidence and constituted a miscarriage of justice.

Justice Barka, in his judgment, stated: “It is clear that the respondent, having benefitted more from the transaction, seeks to vitiate the contract possibly to further benefit from it.

“I agree with the appellant’s counsel that the appeal is destined for success and should be allowed.

“Hence, having resolved all issues in favor of the appellant, this appeal succeeds and is hereby allowed.

“The judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in suit No: CV/2435/2021, delivered on February 17, 2022, is hereby set aside, and all actions taken consequent to the said judgment also stand vacated.

“The appellant is entitled to costs assessed at N500,000 (five hundred thousand Naira only). Appeal allowed.”

Other members of the appeal panel include Justices Abba Bello Mohammed and Okon Efreti Abang.

Biola Lawal

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x