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HAND OVER OUR DAD’S ESTATE, Children of late Sir S.I.O Giwa Amu tell Barrister Okeaya Innih (SAN)

Sir Steven Idowu Ohiole Giwa-AmuA squalid drama is playing out at court 8, Benin High Court, Edo State where the children of the former Attorney General of the old Mid west, late Sir Steven Idowu Ohiole Giwa-Amu are asking a man they grew up to call uncle, their dad’s friend and one of the executors of his estate, to hand over the estate of their dad to them as they are now adults and to render full accounts and repatriation of all incomes of the estate to them. Case no B|265|2012-B4 is being presided over by Justice Imadegbelo.
A conscientious gentleman, Late chief S.I.O Giwa-Amu studied law at the University of Hall, UK and was called to the bar in 1958 at the age of 24. He had a brilliant public law career as solicitor general and later attorney general of the old Mid-western region with a thriving law chambers, Giwa-Amu $ Co solicitors under his tutelage were such brilliant minds as Justice Sadoh (Former Chief Justice of Edo State), Chief Asemota (SAN), Barr. Obiahon and also Chief Okeaya Inneh(SAN). Upon his retirement from active practice at age 46, he had built a respectable and prosperous practice investing all his wealth in properties in Benin City, he was also the Odionwere of the Mid western bar.
After his death, his will was discovered by his first son who submitted same to the executors as named in the will as follows: Chief Okeaya Inneh (SAN) and his immediate younger brother C.I. Giwa-Amu. Thereafter, the will was submitted to probate and division of some his properties accordingly. The bone of contention presently is the hurried and suspicious sale of a major aspect of his estate namely Zim Hotel situated in the heart of GRA, Benin City, for N90 million only as declared by Barr. Okeaya Inneh (SAN). There are hints that Chief S.I. O. Giwa-Amu had wanted sell the same property for a billion naira before his death.
The beneficiaries of his last will and testament suspecting malpractice have asked the court in Edo state to grant them two prayers, namely: the immediate declaration of the account of the estate and a substitution of the executors for the children who are now full adults and can manage their own affairs now. The children view the sale as a contravention of the terms of the will, which specifically states that though part of the estate may be converted to cash for the benefit of the beneficiaries , it can only be done with the unanimous agreement of all the beneficiaries – the beneficiaries claim to be in the dark on the sale of the hotel. No receipt from the supposed buyers was ever made available by Chief Kola Okeaya-Inneh to the second executor or to the beneficiaries.
Another cause of contention is the way and manner the proceeds of the sale was distributed and managed. The executor in question, unanimously decided to illegally withold N9 million (Nine million naira) as what they claimed to be Executors fees. This is in direct contravention to the dictates of the will. When this issue was raised by the beneficiaries the two Executors quickly agreed in writing to refund the money. However for six years thereafter they have refused to refund the money. Furthermore, the beneficiaries have never received any account rendered ten years since the demise of Sir S.I.O Giwa-Amu.
Again the executor in question decided on his own to distribute part of the proceeds of the sale to the beneficiaries and claimed a part will be reserved for the education of the children, who are now fully adults and have been properly educated by their father before his death, and another 10 percent for the upkeep of the estate, these said sums amount to 20 percent of the sale and they remain unaccounted for. Investigations have revesled that the whole N18 million allegedly witth held has been squandered by the said executor who was sole signatory to the supposed account.
Another curious aspect of the matter, is the refusal of the second executor, who is also the second defendant, Mr C. I . Giwa-Amu, to sign the declaration of accounts presented by the first executor and first defendant Barr. Okeaya Inneh . According to sources, the second defendant has refused to sign because he disagreed with the queer distribution of the estate in a manner not provided for in the will.
He has refused to participate or respond to the law suit out of the shame of the damage that has been done to his late brother’s name.
The case came for hearing on Thursday June 26, 2014 and was adjourned to 22nd October 2014, when the first claimant is expected to give evidence.

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