The Abuja, New Nyanya branch of The Lord’s Chosen Church has been taken to court by their landlord over failure to pay rent.
The landlord, one Kola Sunmonu took the case before a Magistrate Court sitting in Mararaba after the church reneged from the agreement to renew its rent annually.
Mr. Sunmonu’s lawyer, Raphael Nnabuike told the court that the property was rented out at the rate of 35,000 per annum and that the previously paid rent had expired since July 3, 2013.
The counsel alleged that the defendant also refused to sign the tenancy agreement which the plaintiff drafted and gave the church. He told the court that part of the agreement was that the defendant should not erect any permanent structure on the plot.
Nnabuike said the defendant had gone to erect a permanent structure on the plot.
He tendered a receipt of one year rent payment issued to the defendant by the plaintiff in 2012 as evidence.
The plaintiff, therefore, prayed the court to grant him permission to take immediate possession of his plot and also recover the arrears of six months rent, which amounted to N17,500, from the defendant.
The plaintiff also urged the court to help him recover N20,000, being the legal expenses he incurred from the case.
The pastor of the church, Mr Charles Nnabuife, who was in court without legal representation, told the court that the Lord’s Chosen Church preached what it practised.
Nnabuife said that the church was not in the court to contest the land with the plaintiff because it was not the owner of the land.
The defendant prayed the court to appeal to the plaintiff to give the church time to settle its rent.
It also prayed the court to beg the plaintiff to sell the said plot of land to the church if he planned to sell it.
The magistrate, Mr Habila Abundaga, asked Nnabuike, counsel to the plaintiff, to wade into the matter and resolve the dispute between the two parties before the adjourned date of July 24.