Scandal: Popular Ilorin pastor, Omolehin in alleged land fraud
Popular Ilorin pastor of the Word Commission International better known as Word Assembly Church, Evang. Isaac Omolehin, has been dragged before the High court in Ilorin over alleged refusal to release 30 plots of lands to one Alhaji Ajayi Ogidiolu, an international businessman, after collecting full payment for the property.
The land, located at Ogborondoko in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State, was reportedly sold to Ogidiolu (claimant) by Omolehin (defendant) for N3.6 million in 2012.
Joined in the suit was a senior pastor in the church, Kayode Oluleye.
According to the claimant’s counsel, Barr. Olasehinde Adeseko, through a writ of summon exclusively obtained by National Pilot, trouble started when Omolehin allegedly refused to hand over documents of their transaction and the said portions of land to the buyer after collecting the agreed fee.
The money, N3.6m was allegedly paid in two instalments of N2m and N1.6m and received by Oluleye on behalf of Omolehin.
The Senior Pastor, according to the writ acknowledged the receipt of payment in two handwritten letters attached to it.
In one of the letter of acknowledgment of the payment signed by the claimant and 2nd defendant, Oluleye allegedly wrote that "I. Pastor Kayode Oluleye of the Word Assembly, Ajase Ipo road, Ilorin collected one cheque of N2,000,000 only of Skye Bank ... from Alhaji Ajayi Ogidiolu on behalf of Evangelist Isaac Omolehin in respect of 30 plots of lands at Ogbondoroko, Asa Local Government being part payment. The balance to be paid by the end of November 2012.
In the writ of summons, the claimant made 30 statements of claims, which included an order to compel the defendants to release the necessary documents for the perfection of the claimant's title in respect of the land and to order the defendants to sign all the necessary papers so as to validate the title of the claimants.
It also asked for N2m as "general damages against the defendants for the trespass and delay in performing parts of their contracts".
Part of the claims advanced in the writ was that immediately after the payment was made and the documents requested by Adeseko, the defendants said it was with his counsel, Barr. Sunday Olawepo and promised to hand it over.
"But after three months or thereabout, the claimant noticed that the said land has been cleared” and upon raising the alarm, “Oluleye said the clearing was to ascertain the boundary between the land of Omolehin and his neighbour”, the writ added.
After a year without the release of the document, Ogidiolu through his counsel said it wrote on February 10, 2014 to demand for it but was told by Barr. Olawepo that the plot in question was more than 30 plots going by survey.
He further said the land in question was not the location intended to be sold by Omolehin.
Attempt by both parties to agree on payment of the seven (7) extra plots was not successful as the defendant insisted on paying for it only price is not "outrageous".
According to Alhaji Ogidiolu, all efforts made for Omolehin to release the documents for the perfection of the claimant’s title to the land were all refused by the cleric.
The former Deputy Surveyor General of the state, S.B Afodun also allegedly deposed to the statement of Ogidiolu against Omolehin.
National Pilot gathered that the case was initially before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye, who gave judgement against Omolehin. But he requested for the case to be transferred pending the appeal before it was moved to Justice Isiaq Adebayo Yusuf.
At the fixed date on Thursday 23rd March, 2017 last week, it was learnt that the case was stalled due to the absence of judges as a result of the ongoing judge's conference in Abuja.
New date for the continuation of the trial could not be confirmed last night before the paper went to press.
But in his reaction to the issue, counsel to Omolehin, Sunday Olawepo, told this medium through a text message that he cannot comment on the issue for now.
In a reply to the text message to him, Olawepo said "The matter is currently b4 (sic) Justice Yusuf of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin. So, I can't make any comment over same, at least f (sic) now".