The Cathedral Church of St Jude Ebute Metta in the Diocese of Lagos Mainland yesterday recovered possession of a large expanse of land is leased to a Lebanese-owned firm G Ambrosini & Co on October 21, 1920 (99 years and 10 months ago).
The property, better known as Ambrosini Properties on No. 102 Borno Way, Ebute-Meta, Lagos, was returned to the church officials by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The Nation reports that AMCON had taken possession of the land sequel to a Federal High Court order, after buying debt from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as part of its debts recovery mandate.
Ambrosini, which signed the lease with the church on October 21, 1920, for a period of 99 years, transferred the lease to G. Cappa, on April 27, 1953, which in turn staked it as a guarantee for the UBA loan.
The church’s solicitor Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, said the church drew the corporation’s attention to its title to the land and the expiration of the lease.
The church, he noted, had expected a difficult recovery process, but the reverse was the case.
“Our expectation was that we were going to have a long drawn battle with them (AMCON), but the way God works – because you are doing His work and He took over the battle – AMCON wrote, acknowledging that the church owns the reversionary interest,” Oyetibo said.
The handover ceremony, he explained, was the consequence of AMCON’s acknowledgment of the church’s freehold title.