Following years of legal battle over the ownership of the Cox building situated on Benson Street, Dr. Arda Thompson-Collins, who is one of the surviving granddaughters of Col. David F.M. Dean has said she would take every legal means available to ensure that her family gets justice against Atty. Sam Solomon.
Atty. Solomon is claiming the property.
Dr. Collins, who has returned home from the United States, told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday that “Atty. Solomon has no legal right to the property, because my family does not know him.” She said the property belongs originally to her grandfather, the late Col. David F. M. Dean.”
In her absence, Dr. Ayele Ajavon-Cox served as administrator of the property through her late mother Gertrude Dean-Thompson.
However, Atty. Solomon has maintained that he obtained a Power of Attorney from the late Jeremiah Harris family, who he claimed owned the building. He said the family gave him the property to manage, which authority, he said was confirmed by the Civil Law Court.
Dr. Collins, in her response to Atty. Solomon’s claim, said, “What I know is that the justice system does not need to look at who a person is, where he or she comes from and how much money he or she has, but it needs to consider for people to get what they’ve worked for. And Justice must prevail.”
She said Atty. Solomon’s claim to possess a Power of Attorney to manage her family’s property “is ridiculous, because we were receiving money while in the United States from Mr. Abi Jaoudi, a Lebanese businessman, in the 1980s.
“Mr. Morgan who was the real estate agent was the one that used to collect the rent from Mr. Jaoudi, before transferring it to the family in the US.”
Dr. Collins said she is not going to dignify Solomon’s contention that he possesses a Power of Attorney to manage her family’s property, “I want to see the Power of Attorney that he has, the date on which it was probated and who signed it.”
While they were in the United States, Dr. Collins recounted, her mother gave Dr. Ayele Ajavon-Cox, the Power of Attorney to manage the property.
“I’m back home to help Dr. Cox fight this battle by reclaiming our property from Atty. Solomon,” she indicated, adding, “if the court gives you back what belongs to you, then that is justice.”
“But, if the court takes money in exchange for justice, that is not justice. It is stealing and if this is happening in our case, we are not going to allow it,” she said.
According to her, Dr. Cox authorized the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to demolish the building. Unfortunately that did not happen, because of the stay order placed on the building by the Supreme Court on the demolition exercise, on the orders of Atty Sam Solomon.
When Atty. Solomon was contacted yesterday he said he is ready for any legal fight with Dr. Cox and Dr. Collins.
“I am the legal administrator of the Jeremiah Harris property and if anyone attempts to interfere into my affairs, I am going to institute a criminal and civil action in the amount of US$1.5 million against such a person,” Atty. Solomon threatened.
He alleged that the property was given to him through a legal process by the Civil Law Court, and he would not be troubled with any eviction threat.
“The good thing for them is for us to go back to court and not to use the media to gain public sentiment,” the former prosecutor advised.