A Lagos family, popularly known as Bolade, has tackled Wema Bank Plc over the continued use of its building premises known as Bolade House, located in Oshodi Expressway, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area of the state, following a breakdown of agreement.
PUNCH Metro gathered that despite the family ejection order served on the bank, the management of the financial institution was said to have refused to vacate the premises
According to a document provided to our correspondent, the family leased the property to Wema Bank in 1995 for 25 years, which expired on April 30, 2020.
When the lease expired, the bank was said to have pleaded for time to relocate, causing the bank a three-year tenancy, which was said to have run from May 1, 2020, and expired on April 30, 2023, at a rate of N6m per annum.
However, when this expired, the family’s lawyer and the bank re-entered another round of negotiation, leading to a five-year tenancy rent of N8m per annum, which was later rejected by the family, who believed the property was worth more than the money the bank intended to pay.
Speaking, the head of the family, Madam Helen Kupoluyi, said they could not accept the offer because the apartment was valued at over N50m by a property valuer the family employed.
Kupoluyi said, “When the bank leased out the middle floor and was collecting rent on it without our consent, we never complained. We told them to employ their valuation of the building to get an appropriate rent for the building, but they refused. We charged them in court, but they refused to show up. We want them out of our building premises.”
The lawyer for the family, Abraham Adeoye, said:
“We wrote a letter to Wema Bank, putting further negotiations on hold until a valuation is conducted. They refused.
“They insisted the rent be the N8m agreed to with the solicitors when no agreement had been signed. The family further reached out to Wema Bank and proposed that a joint valuation be carried out by a team of valuers from the bank and the family; they refused.
“We have not signed any tenancy agreement with Wema Bank, and no money was ever received from Wema Bank. As such, Wema Bank has been occupying the property free of charge since April 30, 2023, when its tenancy expired.”
Reacting, the spokesperson for the bank, Mrs Mabel Adeteye, said the feedback from the legal team was that the information provided by the family was incorrect.
Adeteye said, “The information was completely wrong and false. All the information shared with you is wrong. We didn’t receive any letters to that effect. I don’t know what the motive is for the people; I know there is a conversation around the property.
“We had agreed on a certain amount for renewal, and the next thing they were waiting for from the family was for them to send a bank account number for payment. If they said they had gone to court, why not wait for the court to hear the two parties? Let them put their demands on a document; the bank can then look at it and respond.”