The Association of Real Estate And Property Managers paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association, Benin Branch.
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Ebuetse Phillip. They were well received by the branch Chairman, Mr. Pius Oiwoh and his Executive Council Members, at the quietude Hon. justice Constance Momoh’s Hall.
The major reason for the said visit, was to interface and disabuse the minds of lawyers to the effect that, their Association are not amongst those shortchanging lawyers in charging the required fees in the preparation of deeds and other related instruments as generally believed or percieved by lawyers.
It was no longer a meet and greet section, when The Exco members charged executives of the Estate Association to desist from conniving with our would be clients to shortchange lawyers.
In response, to our query and to Exco’s greatest bewilderment, The Chairman of the Estate Association stated that lawyers are mostly the ones shortchanging themselves, by not demanding and insisting on the required 10% for the preparation of deeds as being enforced presently by the Estate Agents.
With the permission of our Chairman, Mr. Philips went ahead to mention the names of some lawyers involved in collecting paltry sums as consideration for preparation of deeds. It was resolved by both Excos to name and shame those lawyers/Estate Agents collaborating to shortchange and debauch on our common patrimony.
Our proactive Chairman Mr. Oiwoh, immediately constituted a four man Committee to collaborate with the Estate Agents with the sole aim of bringing to book, naming and publicly shaming lawyers involved in these sharp practices and their names written in the black book of our Association and in the hall of shame.
Members of the said Committee as presently constituted are:
Mrs. Stella Agoha
Dr. Sunny Daudu
Mr. Ogaga Emoghwanre
Mrs. Joy Obasuyi
It was related at the meeting that a lawyer was briefed for the preparation of a land instrument by a client, the said land, worth N7,200,000:00. The lawyer insisted on his 10%, same as the agent. The agent collected his 10% and told the buyer that he has another lawyer that can prepare the said landed document for 50,000 or even less, at the end of the day, the agent surreptitiously took the client to another lawyer who collected N70,000 to prepare a deed of transfer for a land that is worth, N7,200,000:00.
This is not only sad and unfortunate, but it calls for real self examination with respect to our honour and calling as legal practitioners.
How long can we continue to defame ourselves, take peanuts and paltry sums as consideration for the preparation of land instruments, while the Estate Agents smile to the Bank with their 10% ?
This will continue to be a rhetorical question if we don’t take drastic actions.
Publicity Secretary, NBA BENIN.