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Court orders Navy to pay entitlement of late Ndubuisi Kanu

Former Military Administrator of Lagos State, late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retired).

Justice Christopher Balogun of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the Nigerian Navy to pay the entitlement and benefit of the retired late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, a former Military Administrator of Lagos, to an interest yielding dedicated account.

The court made the order in an ongoing proceeding of a suit filed by Mrs Gladys Ndubuisi Kanu, that the Nigerian Navy should calculate the benefits and entitlement of the late Ndubuisi Kanu and pay into the account.

In the suit, marked LD/3685FPM/2021, Gladys is seeking to be declared as the only legal wife of the late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu.

The respondents in the suit are the first wife, Josephine Ndubuisi Kanu and children of the deceased, Kelly Kanu, Nigerian Navy, Simone Abiona (Nee Kanu), Andrey Joe-Ezigbo (nee Kanu), Paula Kanu and Karen Johnson (Nee Kanu), Jeffery Kanu, Laura Kanu and Stephen Kanu.

Gladys also sought an order from the court to declare that she is the only widow of the late Ndubuisi.

She said that she and the deceased were co-habiting until his death and noted that she was married to him for 27 years but she was with him for 31 years.

However, at the resumed hearing, Justice Balogun said the case and reliefs to be streamlined to the real issues excluding the burial.

Mr Tomilade Shodimu, counsel to first, third to nine defendants told the court that the court had directed that all the nine pending applications be subsumed. He noted that he received an application for claimant change of counsel.

The lawyer to the Nigerian Navy, Mrs C.G Cirbam told the court that she had filed an application before the court to remove the service from the list of defendants since the burial of late Ndubuisi had been done.

Her position was opposed by the claimant counsel, O. Owoh, who informed the court that the Nigerian Navy name cannot be struck out now, noting that it still holds the entitlement of the deceased.

The court however granted an accelerated hearing, noting that the deceased had three wives and all the wives had children for him.

The judge said he is guided by the law and statute that all the children are entitled to benefit from their late father’s estate.

Justice Balogun further stated that there is nothing in doubt as regards the status of the children as according to the Administration of Estates Law of Lagos State, all the 10 children were legitimate children of the deceased.

Subsequently, the court advised parties to ensure all court processes and papers are duly regularised as the proceedings will be set for trial. He, therefore, adjourned to February 7, 2022.

Reporting by Wahab Akinlade; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino