Union Bank lays claim to flat where EFCC found N13bn cash
More issues have emerged concerning 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).
This time around, Union Bank Plc is laying claim to the building and consequently the flat, where the money was found hidden in iron cabinets behind a false wall.
The bank has therefore filed an application at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, to upturn the interim forfeiture order placed on the flat owned by Mrs. Folashade Oke, wife of a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke.
Justice Saliu Saidu has fixed January 12, 2018 for the hearing of the application.
The NIA director, Ayo Oke has been suspended and later sacked, after discoveries of the money which he claimed was for ‘covert operations’ by the agency, and that the Department of State Security was aware of it.
Mrs Oke, was said to have purchased the property in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Limited, where she and her son, Ayodele Oke Jnr., were directors.
Moving his application on Thursday, counsel to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc., Ajibola Aribisala, SAN, 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 Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, a former Bauchi State governor and former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Working Committee, 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.
“The original titled deeds of the property has been vested in Union Bank of Nigeria since the execution of the Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage dated 1st day of November, 2011 registered as No. 49, Page 49 in Volume 2044 at Lands Registry, Lagos.
“The tenor of the loan has expired and neither the borrower, Triple A Properties and Investment Limited nor the Mortgager, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, has liquidated the loan granted to the borrower by the applicant, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc,” he said.
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 proforma 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.