- The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and a new generation bank have been accused of illegal sale of lands
- The land is said to belong to an indigenous real estate development company, Grant Properties Limited (GPL)
- The portion of the land is reportedly valued at N5 billion
A report by The Cable has detailed how the the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and a new generation bank have been allegedly engaged in illegal sale of lands.
According to the report, the land which is valued at N5 billion, is said to belong to an indigenous real estate development company, Grant Properties Limited.
NAIJ.com gathered that the 50-hectare land in Lekki, Lagos, had been earmarked for an estate by GPL.
However, the bank allegedly secretly sold the land to one of its directors for a fraction of its valued price.
GPL was said to have taken a loan from three other banks and the bank fingered in the illegal deal with AMCON, to part-finance the development of the estate.
The loan was said to have been secured with the transfer of the shares in GPL's subsidiary company, Knight Rook Ltd to the banks in lieu of a legal mortgage.
In a petition addressed to the Lagos state commissioner of police, Imohimi D. Edgar on Wednesday, November 8, the managing director of GPL, Dr Olawunmi Olajide-Awosedo explained that the residue of the loan was transferred to AMCON in 2011 due to liquidity problems in the banks.
The petition, which was acknowledged by the police boss, read in part: “At the time they sold the debt to AMCON, the banks were required to transfer all of our collateral; however, we found out that Sterling Bank secretly withheld 10 hectares of our land which it illegally sold to one of its Directors, Mr Yemi Idowu, a rival real estate developer, who the bank had appointed to manage the account.
“Prior to his appointment to manage the account, he had made an attempt to buy the land for a price below the market value, but we had refused to sell.
“After he secretly bought the land from his bank, Mr Yemi Idowu sold a quarter of it (2.4 hectares) to UPDC Plc for a substantial secret profit. Both UPDC and Mr Idowu commenced construction immediately.”
The GPL noted that despite getting a favourable court judgement, its staff were being tortured by suspected agents of AMCON and its lawyer, Mr Lanre Olaoluwa of Matrix Solicitors.
It also alleged AMCON of forceful eviction of its client and captivity of a mother and her child, as well as a worker.
A copy of the Lagos state high court judgement showed that the court nullified the sale of the land on Friday, June 2.
The judgement stated that “the land was sold by Sterling Bank after the banks had assigned the loans to AMCON; the documents of the sale were signed by Mr Yemi Adeola & Ms Justina Lewa, managing director and company secretary of Sterling Bank respectively, who had no authority to do so; Sterling Bank acted alone, as the other banks did not participate in the sale; and GPL was not informed about the sale.”
Dr Awosedo had earlier written the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Thursday, September 28, detailing what it termed "insider abuse, collusion and fraud" against his company (GPL) by AMCON and Sterling Bank.
The petition, which was also received and acknowledged by the CBN, read: “We took our case to court, and secured 2 orders to stop them from construction, but they disobeyed the court orders and continued building. They built a residential development called Cadogan Estate on the land in defiance of the court order.
“Having won our case, and secured our land, we wrote to AMCON on 15th June 2017, enclosing a certified true copy of the judgement, and a proposal to repay our loan from the land we won in the judgement. We wrote to AMCON to request for it to value the land and take their payment from it.
“To our surprise, since Friday, June 16, 2017, Olaoluwa has taken over our offices, facilities, estate and homes under an ex parte court order granted in August 2016, which should have expired after a maximum of 21 days. In fact, he brought an action at the Federal High Court in Abeokuta, seeking among other things, to renew the receivership, and it is instructive to note that the suit is still pending, and the court had not granted him the powers he requested before he began this process.
"As part of the intimidation to force us to compromise our judgement and ratify the illegal sale of our collateral, Olaoluwa and Matrix Solicitors obtained a judgment on October 3rd, 2017 against us in secret, as we were never notified or served any processes concerned with this suit up until they got the judgment. This is despite the fact that a previous case was still pending before the Federal High Court in Abeokuta.
“In fact, on the day they obtained judgment, we actually had a meeting at AMCON offices which was attended by Olaoluwa, his partner and an AMCON team led by Mr Saidu, AMCON’s company secretary. We have however filed a motion to set the judgment aside.”
The GPL subsequently called on the federal government and other relevant regulatory authorities to order an investigation into the activities of Sterling Bank and AMCON.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday, November 23, arraigned Umar Munir Abubakar, Henry Ekhasomi Sambo, Sir Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe, Chief Richard U. Uche and Aderemi Adegboyega before Justice Silvanus Orji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo, Abuja.
NAIJ.com gathered that they were arraigned on a 26-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and illegal diversion of public funds.
Abubakar, a former managing director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and co-defendants, some of who were former board members and current staff of NSITF, were indicted in a petition written to the EFCC by a concerned citizen, alleging that they have been abusing their positions by cornering public funds in billions.
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