It's Paul Olarewaju's Blog Again!!!: N13 Billion Ikoyi Scandal: Union Bank Claims Ownership of Flat 7B Osborne Towers

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Friday, 1 December 2017

N13 Billion Ikoyi Scandal: Union Bank Claims Ownership of Flat 7B Osborne Towers

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has claimed ownership of Flat 7B in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos where in April, 2017 $43,449,947 (about N13billion), N23, 218,000 and £27,800 (about N10.6milion) was recovered by the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) following a tip-off.

The EFCC had earlier secured an interim order from a court forfeiting the luxury flat to the government. The court had ruled that the property would be permanently forfeited to the government if nobody turns up to claim ownership of the flat and why it should not be forfeited within 14 days.

However, the bank approached the court on Thursday praying it to forfeit the interim order as the property belongs to it. Union Bank’s lawyer Chief Ajibola Aribisala (SAN)  filed an application seeking to vacate the interim forfeiture order arguing that the flat belongs to Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, a former Chairman of the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party,  the Nation reports.

According to the bank, Muazu mortgaged the property to it by virtue of a Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated November 1, 2011. It said the property was covered by a certificate of occupancy dated September 27, 2009 and registered as 97/97/2009 in the Lands Registry Office, Alausa.

The bank further argued that the property was a security for a loan granted to Tripple A Properties & Investment Ltd and that its property’s original titled deed had been vested in it.

Aribisala said the loan taken to build the property was yet to be liquidated despite its tenure expiring. It also claimed that it sold the property to Chobe Ventures Ltd to liquidate the loan.

However, in a counter affidavit, the EFCC argued that the bank lacked the right to challenge the forfeiture.

While arguing the application for the flat’s forfeiture, EFCC’s lawyer said Mrs Oke made cash payment of $1,658,000 in tranches of $700,000, $650,000 and $353,700, for the flat’s purchase between August 25 and September 3, 2015.

In a supporting affidavit deposed to by an investigating officer, Musa Giwa, the agency said Mrs Oke gave the cash to a bureau de change operator, Alhaji Shehu Usman Anka, to pay for the flat.

“The funds used to acquire the property sought to be forfeited in the name of Chobe Ventures belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria but was fraudulently converted to the use of Chobe Ventures. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application,” the EFCC said

EFCC said on the day it recovered the money in the flat, it also recovered several documents indicating that the flat belonged to Chobe Ventures, including invoices and cash receipts issued to the company.

It claimed to have written the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for the particulars of Chobe Ventures’ directors, following which the CAC affirmed that the directors of Chobe Ventures were Mrs Folade Oke and Mr Ayodele Oke Jr.

Justice Saidu adjourned till January 12 for the hearing of Union Bank’s application as an interested party.

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