Friday, December 1, 2017

Union Bank Claims Ownership Of Ikoyi Flat Where NIA Cash Was Recovered

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has claimed ownership of Flat 7B in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, where the Federal Government on June 6, recovered $43,449,947 (about N13billion), N23, 218,000 and £27,800 (about N10.6milion).

THEWILL had exclusively reported that the cash found in the flat belonged to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused former NIA Director-General, Ayodele Oke, of fraudulently converting the agency’s funds.

In its application before the Federal High Court in Lagos, the bank prayed the Court to vacate an interim order forfeiting the flat to the Federal Government.

The court, had on November 9, ordered the flat’s temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government as Justice Saliu Saidu ruled that it would be permanently forfeited if no one turned up to justify its ownership within 14 days.

However, Union Bank’s lawyer, Chief Ajibola Aribisala, SAN said he filed an application seeking to vacate the interim forfeiture order.

In a supporting affidavit, the bank said the flat was part of 16, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, belonging to Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu covered by a certificate of occupancy dated September 27, 2009 and registered as 97/97/2009 in the Lands Registry Office, Alausa.

According to the bank, Muazu mortgaged the property to it by virtue of a Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated November 1, 2011 revealing that the property was a security for a loan granted to Tripple A Properties & Investment Ltd.

It claimed that the property’s original titled deed had been vested in it adding that the loan was yet to be liquidated despite its tenor expiring.

However, EFCC, in its counter affidavit, argued that the bank lacked the locus standi to challenge the forfeiture insisting that 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, Mr 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.

It added that when it recovered the huge cash from the flat on April 12, 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.