Lagos State High Court has ordered Osun State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Stephen Kola-Balogun, to pay his landlord in Lagos a total sum of N5.5 million, being unpaid arrears of a rented apartment between August 1, 2009 and April 2012.
Justice O.A Adefope-Okojie, in a judgment, ordered the Commissioner to pay the sum within seven days of the judgment, or risk being in contempt of court.
A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Adeniyi Adetokunbo-Ademola, who is the owner of the property, had dragged Kola-Balogun and his wife, Taiwo, before the Lagos High Court for their failure to pay rent arrears of the apartment located at 51C, Oduduwa Crescent in the GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The plaintiff (Justice Adetokunbo-Ademola) had claimed that the Commissioner and his wife refused to pay the rent arrears despite repeated demands.
The plaintiff added that the commissioner also refused to give up possession of the property, despite issuing quit notice to that effect, adding that he never paid the house rent as at when due since the first payment resulting in substantial rent arrears over the years.
He, therefore, sought an order of the court directing the Commissioner to vacate the property as well as pay the arrears up till the time he parks out of the house.
However, during the pendency of the suit, the Commissioner was said to have given up the possession of the property, while the court was left with determination of actual amount due to be paid by the defendant.
After reviewing the case, Justice Adefope-Okojie said: “By my calculation, the total sum owed at the rate stated above is N4 million for the two tenancy years 1st August, 2009 to 31st July, 2011; and N1.5 million for the 1st August, 2011 to April 2012 (nine months) at the rate of N166, 666.67 per month claimed.
“The total thus owed the claimant is N5, 500, 000,” declared the judge.