By Ime Silas
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON has secured an order of the court freezing the Banks Accounts and property of Niger State government and eight (8) others.
According to an order dated 31st August, 2021, a copy of which was obtained by our paper, Hon. Justice R. M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Lagos state, the court had on March 6, 2019, granted a motion exparte seeking amongst others, an order of the court granting leave to the Plaintiff/Applicant to take interim possession of the property, assets, Banks Accounts and Estates of the Defendants.
The Defendants in the case with suit no. FHC/L/CS/188/2019 include Puzzle Construction & Engineering Limited, Puzzles Technologies Limited, Bayo Adeyemo and Temitayo Bayo Adeyemo as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively.
Others are Aderele Falade and Tolubori Dawodu as 5th and 6th Defendants, while Attorney-General of Niger State and the Niger State government are the 7th and 9th, respectively.
According to the facts of the case, Puzzles construction was contracted to construct 1000 units of two and three bed room flats respectively, in Minna, Niger State. The estate is known as Talba Estate. Puzzles was granted a loan by Mainstreet Bank now known as Polaris Bank, of N1,200,000, 000 (One Billion, Two Hundred Million naira) in 2011 for purposes of the construction.
The loan was guaranteed by the Niger state government. Our checks show that presently, off takers have bought over the said estate and Puzzles construction is yet to be paid.
Lawreal Associates, #4A Idowu Taylor, Victoria Island was appointed by AMCON to recover the said facility. Series of meetings with parties including the Niger State Government to resolve the matter were reportedly futile.
After much delay, the Lawreal team headed by an Akwa Ibom-born lawyer, Dr. Udom John Udom had begun the processes of freezing the banks accounts of all the Defendants.
Parts of the court order read “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff/Applicant to take interim possession of the property, Assets, Estate of the 1st Defendant at Medium Housing Estate along Gidan Mangoro Minna, Bosso local government area, Niger state, consisting of 83,180 hectares, the boundaries of which are demarcated by a red verge line on the attached plan with drawing no. 40 in volume 6(C of O) in the Niger state Lands Registry in favour of the Plaintiff.
“That an order is granted to the Plaintiff/Applicant to take interim possession of the property, Assets, Estate of the 1st Defendant at plot 7097 in Cadastral Zone E18 of Wasa, Abuja, FCT, measuring approximately 51,716.36 metre square.
“That an order is granted for interim possession compelling the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Defendants, its servants, agents, officers, Directors, Shareholders, Creditors to deliver to the Plaintiff/Applicant possession of all its assets, Bank Accounts, undertaking or any other assets or undertaking, particularly the Medium Housing Estate along Gidan, Mangoro Road, Minna, Niger state”.
The court also granted the order directing the Inspector-General of Police and other cadres of the Nigeria Police Force to assist and supervise AMCON in ensuring the execution and enforcement of the orders. The court further granted an order restraining, preventing or stopping the 9th Defendant, being the Niger state government from revoking, withdrawing or suspending the Certificate of Occupancy of the First Defendant, Puzzles Construction and Engineering Limited, until the entire outstanding sum was fully liquidated.
The Court also ordered “That an order is granted freezing the Bank Accounts of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Defendants maintained with the following banks; Access Banks Plc, Heritage Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc, Eco Bank Nigeria Plc, Polaris Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guarantee Trust Bank Plc, Standbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Keystone Bank Limited, Aso Savings and Loans, Unity Bank Plc, Providus Bank Limited, Coronation Bank Limited, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
“That an order is granted freezing the Bank Accounts of the 7th, 8th and 9th Defendants maintained with the following Banks; Access Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Polaris Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guarantee Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Keystone Bank limited, Aso Savings and Loans, Unity Bank Plc, Providus Bank Limited, Jaiz Bank Plc, Sun Trust Bank Limited, Coronation Merchant Limited, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc”.