Man held evicted family's passports

Fri, Dec 7, 2012, 00:00

A landlord accused of illegally evicting a Nigerian family said he kept their passports, medical cards, bank cards, and marriage and birth certificates “for safe keeping”.

Eugene McKeever rented his house at The Boulevard, Tyrrelstown, to Jhon and Adabat Adigun and their children on November 28th 2011, a Private Residential Tenancies Board tribunal heard.

Ms Adigun claimed that when alone in the house on February 12th, Mr McKeever and five other men used a ladder to gain access. She claimed he restrained her, and when she tried to call out he pushed a pillow against her face. Mr McKeever said yesterday the allegations were “total lies”.

He said he received “an abusive call” from the Adiguns after they moved in, requesting more beds, and he asked the letting agent to cancel the contract. After repeated requests from Jhon Adigun to sign a rent allowance form, he said, “I was told I wouldn’t get rent unless I signed the form.”

Eviction notices

He said that when the Adiguns failed to pay rent, he issued them with a handwritten “12-day notice” of eviction and a subsequent 28-day notice.

He said that when delivering the second notice, “They demanded €3,000 and then they would leave the house.”

Mr McKeever described how on February 12th his son used a ladder to gain entry, letting in Mr McKeever, his brother Gerard and his son-in-law. Mr McKeever and his brother went upstairs and found Mrs Adigun in a bedroom.

Gerard McKeever said he “didn’t know” if she was wearing pyjamas when evicted. Of her attempt to make a call, he said, “I picked the phone up and put it in my pocket”.

Eugene McKeever said he kept the family documents “in a safe place until everything was clean and clear”.

Hearing of evidence in the case has finished. A decision is due within 12 weeks.