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Ikoyi cash: Court to hear Union Bank’s claim to ownership of forfeited flat


January 12, 2018 has been fixed for the hearing of an application filed by Union Bank Plc., claiming ownership of Flat 7b, No 16, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 were recently recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi had on November 9, 2017, ordered the interim forfeiture of the property owned by Folashade, wife of a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke.

She was said to have purchased the property in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Limited, where she and her son, Ayodele Oke Jnr., are directors.

Moving his application, Counsel to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc., Ajibola Aribisala,  informed the court that he had served the prosecution with a counter-affidavit on November 28, 2017 challenging the final forfeiture of the said apartment to the Federal Government.

Aribisala also asked that the motion for permanent forfeiture be served on his client as an interested party.

In application supported by a 27-paragraph affidavit, he claimed that the property that forms part of the Osborne Towers, Lagos originally belongs to Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, a former Bauchi State governor and former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by virtue of the Certificate of Occupancy dated September 27, 2009.

He also stated that the said property was mortgaged to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. by virtue of a Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated November 1, 2011.

Aribisala further submitted that the property was mortgaged to Union Bank of Nigeria to secure a loan granted to a company, Triple A Properties and Investment Limited, by the bank.

However, the prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an 11-paragraph counter- affidavit stated that when the said funds were recovered from the property, a document titled “Lagos State Government Form 1c”, which bears Chobe Ventures Limited, was also recovered as being the grantee to that apartment.

Oyedepo, among others, added that way bills and proformance invoices issued by Leatherworld to Chobe Ventures were also recovered.

“The prosecution also recovered an envelope addressed to Ambassador and Mrs. Ayo Oke from Yemi and Omowale Dipeolu, likewise sales invoices and cash receipts of Gubabi & Co. Limited issued to Chobe Ventures,” he said.

Consequently, Justice Saidu adjourned to January 12, 2018 for hearing of the application filed by Union Bank Plc.