Authorities in the United Kingdom have released a list of names and details of 56 Nigerians who died in the country and whose estates remain unclaimed.
This was contained in the government’s treasury solicitor website last updated on September 8, 2022.
An estate has 30 years to be claimed from the date of death. If no one comes forward for it within the time frame, it will be delisted.
On the list, there are not enough details on relatives of the deceased to whom their assets can be transferred, according to Headline News,
A prominent name on the list is a certain Victor Adedapo Olufemi Fani-Kayode who is said to have died on August 15, 2001, in Birmingham, with information on his death listed as the Birmingham City Council.
The list also includes Arbel Aai’Lotta’Qua Abouarh, who died on February 5, 1998, in Chiswick, London, and is thought to have several spelling variations.
According to the information on file, he may have married in December 1959 (location unknown) and had four children from the marriage.
There is also a Paul (Akinola) Bernard who was born in Lagos and died in London on October 12, 2008. Available information suggests he married a 2nd wife, Marie Vidarte de Castro in 1970, but she had also died in August 2008. He is believed to have a daughter from his first marriage which ended around 1970.
Born in Ibadan on August 2, 1958, John Olaolu Bankole died in London on April 27, 2010. Information available includes a Decree Absolute dissolving the deceased’s marriage on 11 November 2002, while his marriage certificate states that his father’s name is Oladipupa Bankole.
While Enwukwe Graham Kwedi Edde, who died on January 6, 2011, in London is only known to have been born in Diobu, River State, Charles Ayodele Aliu, who died on March 31, 2011, in Solihull, West Midlands, is said to “have possible cousin in Nigeria.”
Sunny Eyo Edem, who died on September 16, 2011, in Fulham is believed to have a “Possible son and relatives in Calabar, Nigeria.” Also, William Kadry, who died on November 1, 2011, in Fulham, is said to have been born in Iponri, Lagos State, and his father Akanni Kadiri died in 1941, while his mother Muniratu Kadiri died 1958.
Colchester, Essex; Eugene Bucknor, who died on March 2, 2021, in Brockley, London; Jeff Adhekeh, who died on March 12, 2021, in South Kensington, London and Louisa Holmes, who died on May 24, 2021, in Cheam Sutton.
“We often hear of accounts of deceased persons in financial institutions that are never claimed and are never made public by these institutions. I believe we can borrow a leaf from the practice in the UK in this regard to promote transparency,” says Olaitan Akinnubi, a lawyer based in Lagos.
“I believe that information about deceased persons and their unclaimed assets being made public in the UK is something that is worthy of emulation here in Nigeria.”
“for the relatives of any such deceased person or any other person entitled to the estate of any of the listed deceased persons, it is advisable that they engage a Probate Solicitor or Practitioner in the UK to help and guide them through the process of obtaining letters of administration in respect of the deceased person’s Estate in the UK,” he added.
He further said a lesson to be drawn from this, is the importance of writing a will while one is alive. Once a person starts acquiring properties (real or personal), they should start thinking of writing a will, he advises, as this would help their family, friends and loved ones identify their assets and administer them accordingly upon their death.
“Who knows if the relatives of any of these deceased are languishing in poverty while their dad, brother, son, etc has property of value in the UK? If these assets are not claimed after a long period of time, they become bona vacantia i.e. goods or assets without an owner; and they eventually are taken over by the Crown or government in the UK,” he said.