Landlords Urge Buhari To Call AMCON To Order Over Alleged Harassment

Residents and landlords of Victory Park Estate, Lekki, Lagos State have urging President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to call the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to order over alleged disobedience to court orders.

They accused the AMCON of harassment and persecution of the legitimate residents and owners of the Estate despite pending court cases and orders.

They are also urging AMCON Chairman Edward Lametek Adamu and its Managing Director, Lawan Kuru, to intervene as the agency is not above the law.

They homeowners further urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to direct his men not to allow themselves to be used by AMCON and its receiver-manager, Mr Lanre Olaoluwa to disturb the peace of the residents and property owners.

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According to the residents, the issues could degenerate to social unrest if AMCON and its agents are not called to order, as the agency, they insisted, is not above the rule of law and cannot willfully disrespect the powers of the court by taking over the properties of Nigerians without legal backing.

Two of such cases were filed by Mrs. Bose Ibude and Okechukwu Okoli and his wife against AMCON and its Receiver/Manager, Lanre Olaoluwa.

The Plaintiffs obtained injunctions against the Respondents. AMCON and Olaoluwa appealed.

The estate spans almost 50 hectares and is one of the gated communities in the Igbokushu area of Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1.

The residents claimed to have bought plots of land in the estate from Grant Properties Ltd, a company promoted by the late Rev Olajide Awosedo and his family, and obtained the relevant title documents.

According to them, in 2003, Grant Properties and Knight Rook approached some of them individually and offered them plots in the estate, following which they invested their hard-earned money and live savings; others obtained mortgage loans.

The residents said before paying, they carried out checks to ascertain that there were no caveats in the Lands Registry or the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Assured that the coast was clear, they purchased their various plots legally from Grant Properties/Knight Rook, the only companies authorised to sell plots of land in the estate.

Issues arose when AMCON moved to recover alleged credit facilities granted to the late Awosedo, the chairman of Grant Properties Limited and Knight Rook Ltd, which executed the title documents to the property in the estate.

To the residents’ shock, sometime in June 2017, they woke to a publication that Knight Rook, the owner of the global certificate of occupancy over Victory Park Estate, was in receivership with other companies over a loan Grant Properties Ltd allegedly took from Sterling Bank, Skye bank (now Polaris bank), Wema Bank and FCMB.

The shares of Knight Rook Ltd were said to have been used as security for the loans.

The banks allegedly sold the unpaid loan as eligible bank assets to AMCON.

According to the residents, following the steps taken to recover the outstanding indebtedness, the late Awosedo and other shareholders of Knight Rook purportedly transferred their shares to the nominees of the banks and resigned their positions as directors, thereby relinquishing their right to continue to act as such.

The plaintiffs alleged that despite the removal of the Awosedos from Knight Rook Ltd, an agreement was entered sometime in 2006 by the banks with Grant Properties Ltd to market and sell all the land in Victory Park Estate and remit proceeds to the banks.

The residents said it was very puzzling that from 2006 until AMCON’s publication of putting the companies in receivership in 2017, members of the public were made to believe that the Awosedos were executing the banks’ instructions.

AMCON appointed Olaoluwa as receiver/manager to take over the assets of Knight Rook Ltd and its parent company, Grant Properties Ltd.

The receiver/manager obtained an ex-parte order in a suit numbered FHC/AB/CS/69/16.

The order granted him the power to dispose or take possession of several properties in the estate, pending the conclusion of the debt recovery proceedings against Knight Rook Ltd and Grant Properties Ltd.

14th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph
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