Ajayi’s children refute alleged court’s order on sharing formula for late father’s estate

Children of Mrs. Oluwayemisi Ajayi, widow of Dr. Tosin Ajayi of First Foundation Medical Engineering Co. Ltd, have debunked stories that a Federal High Court, Lagos, has on September 7, 2021, awarded an alleged wife of their late father, Helen Prest, 50 per cent of his estate.

The Late Ajayi

The family in a statement signed by Mrs. Olutomi Deru (Nee Ajayi) and Mrs. Omolade Soetan (Nee Ajayi) respectively, described the story as false.

According to them: “The order, which was strangely granted in the absence of the company and our mum, only granted Helen Prest and her daughter permission to institute their main action, and restrained our mum from running the company pending the determination of the main suit.”

The children noted that the orders were temporary and the court did not make any order granting Prest any share in the estate of their late father contrary to false and sensational stories being circulated in social media.

“The court did not rule on any of the claims and they are not even claiming 50per cent of our late father’s estate in their main suit.

“So, the media reports are bizarre and at variance with court’s orders that one can only conclude that the reports were either sponsored by Helen Prest or issued by her supporters for mischievous purposes.”

The children further alleged that the orders were fraudulently obtained as no hearing notice was served on their mum or the company or their lawyers, Kunle Adegoke & Co.

“The court had previously granted certain interim orders (also in the absence of the defendants) on August 5, 2021, and our lawyers had earlier filed an application to set aside those interim orders and the application was pending before the court when the court made its September 7 order and is still pending before the court.

“Helen Prest and her lawyers exhibited highest level of desperation by pretending to have served our mother with a hearing notice whereas they never did. They obtained the orders of court fraudulently and our lawyers are taking the appropriate steps in this regard,” the statement added.

It further stated that, just a few days before the court’s September 7 order, the plaintiffs had served a counter-affidavit against the application filed by their mother to set aside the August 5 interim orders obtained by Helen Prest, which were based on the same information as the September 7 order.

“So, it was abundantly clear that the defendants would not miss an opportunity to be heard on any other orders that the plaintiffs were seeking. The plaintiffs have become so desperate that they do not mind to win the matter fair or foul,” the statement read.

The children submitted: “Regardless of whether there was any evidence of the service of a hearing notice before the court, it is quite puzzling that the judge would disregard our mother’s application to set aside its earlier orders that were before it and went on to hear the plaintiffs’ application without giving the defendants another opportunity to appear before the court.”

On whether they were ready to accommodate Helen Prest’s daughter, Tomisin, in the estate of their father, the children said that it has always been the case.

Stating that, even though their late dad never introduced Tomisin to any member of the family as his daughter, they chose from the outset to accept her as their late dad’s daughter in good faith.

“In fact, shortly after our late dad’s funeral, we wrote to Tomisin to join as an administratrix in our application to obtain Letters of Administration for our late dad’s estate, but Tomisin turned down the offer, preferring to go it alone. We later discovered that Tomisin and her mum had filed for Letters of Administration several months before our late dad’s funeral,” the children stated.

The Guardian learnt that the suit, which was before Justice Ringim, has been transferred to the Administrative Judge for re-assignment and no date has been fixed for further hearing.

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