A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, September 7, declared that a former Miss Nigeria, Helen Prest-Ajayi, is entitled to 50 percent of the net assets of her late husband, Dr Tosin Ajayi.
Recall the earlier this year, there was mild drama during the funeral of Dr Tosin Ajayi the founder of First Foundation Hospital, as his older children from his first wife struggled with Helen Prest-Ajayi for the shovel at the graveside, over who gets to pour sand into the grave first (read here).
Helen Prest-Ajayi later apologized to her late husband for the incident and explained how she had been accused of his murder following his death. She also debunked reports that she was the reason for him leaving his first wife (read here).
Months after the burial, Justice Tijjani Ringim ruled that Helen Prest-Ajayi is entitled to half of the net assets of her late husband, Dr Tosin Ajayi.
The suit was filed by Miss Tomisin Ajayi and Mrs Helen Prest Ajayi as 1st and 2nd Applicants, through their counsel Mr Abiodun Jellili Owonikoko, (SAN).
The 1st to 4th Respondents/Applicants in the suit are First Foundation Medical Engineering Company Ltd, Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Mrs Oluwayemisi Ajayi and Mr Patrick Abak, a lawyer, reports The Nigerian Lawyer.
First Foundation Medical Engineering Company was owned and registered by the late Dr Tosin Ajayi.
The judge granted the 13 reliefs sought by the Applicants following the respondents’ failure to controvert them.
They include that Prest-Ajayi is entitled to 50% (or so much as the Court may sanction upon audit and valuation) constituting the net assets of the firm, after satisfying all just taxes and debts as family and investment partner of Dr. Tosin Ajayi, from 1996 till 26 April, 2020 to the exclusion of Mrs Oluwayemisi Ajayi (first wife of Dr Tosin Ajayi with whom he had 5 children);
An order of court directing an investigation into the affairs of the firm by the Registrar-General and for the Registrar-General to call for an extra-ordinary general meeting to appoint additional directors for the firm.
It also includes, among others, an order directing the Registrar-General to audit and verify the firm’s assets, a perpetual injunction restraining the Registrar-General from recognising the Mrs Oluwayemisi Ajayi as entitled to run the firm and a perpetual injunction restraining Mrs Oluwayemisi Ajayi from dealing with the assets and properties belonging to the Defendant and/or Late Dr Ajayi.
Justice Ringim said: “Despite the service of processes filed on the respondents and affidavits of service duly filed in court, the respondents failed to use the opportunity afforded to them by law to controvert the averment of the plaintiff in the affidavits.
“However, it is a settled law that evidence not controverted are deemed admitted.
“In consideration of the applicant’s motion on notice and the affidavits in support and exhibits attached together with the legal submissions of senior counsel for the applicant Jellili Owonikoko SAN, all the reliefs sought in this application are hereby granted as prayed.
“Applicant to file undertaking as to damages in the event it turned out that this order ought not to be made in the circumstances.”
The judge sent the file back to the Admin Judge for assignment, being a vacation matter.
According to the application, Dr Ajayi was a renowned medical doctor, businessman and philanthropist before his demise on April 26, 2020.