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Widow asks court to exclude Helen Prest from husband’s estate

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A Lagos State High Court has been asked to exclude Helen Prest-Ajayi, a former Miss Nigeria and widow of Dr. Tosin Ajayi, founder of the First Foundation Medical Engineering Co. Ltd from benefiting from the estate of the deceased.

Dr. Ajayi’s estranged wife, Oluyemisi Ajayi, and her five children made the prayer in a suit commenced on September 17, 2021, by an Originating Summons filed by their counsel, Falana & Falana’s Chambers.

They are seeking an order that Oluyemisi and the deceased’s children, including Helen’s daughter, Tomisin, are the only ones entitled to share in the deceased’s estate.

They prayed the court to, among others, hold that Oluyemisi is entitled to one-third and the children to two-thirds of the estate. In essence, Oluyemisi and her children are asking the court to rule that Helen (sued as “Ms. Helen Davies”) has no interest whatsoever in Dr. Ajayi’s estate.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to declare that the only persons entitled to apply for and obtain letters of administration in respect of the estate are the deceased’s estranged wife and his children, including Tomisin, Helen’s child.

They are also asking the Court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Helen and anyone acting on her behalf from interfering with the estate.

According to the Originating Summons, the Claimants’ claims are based on Section 46 of the Administration of Estates Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing.

This suit is the latest development in the battle over the estate of the late Dr. Ajayi

The deceased was a renowned medical doctor, businessman, and philanthropist before his demise on April 26, 2020.

Another suit on the matter is pending before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

According to the suit, filed by Helen, her late husband was married to Oluwayemisi and they had children. She averred that the couple were separated for 35 years before Dr. Ajayi’s demise.

Helen averred in that suit that in the course of the separation, he married her, and they had a child together, Tomisin.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had recently declared that Helen is entitled to 50 percent of the net assets of her late husband, Dr. Tosin Ajayi.

Justice Tijjani Ringim gave the ruling in a suit by Tomisin and Helen as the first and second applicants, which was filed through their counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN).

The first to fourth respondents in the suit are the First Foundation Medical Engineering Company Limited; Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission; Oluwayemisi Ajayi; and Patrick Abak, a lawyer.

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 percent (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 Oluwayemisi, the deceased’s estranged wife, among others.

Justice Ringim also held that, “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.

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