Allegations on illegal sale of lands belonging to Grant Properties Limited, GPL surfaced after online newspapers reported that Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON and a new generation bank, Sterling Bank trampled on the rights of the company.
What we know is that GPL took a loan from four banks – Unity Bank, Skye Bank, WEMA Bank, and Sterling Bank – to finance the development of Victory Park Estate in Lekki Lagos.
GPL’s Managing Director, Olawunmi Olajide-Awosedo in a petition explained that in 2009 the project became stalled and the residue of the loan was transferred to AMCON in 2011 due to liquidity problems in the banks.
The portion of land allegedly sold by the Bank was 10 hectares, which was valued at N5b billion at the time of the sale from the 50-hectare land.
At the time the debt was sold to AMCON, the banks were required to transfer all collateral involved but GPL alleged that Sterling bank secretly withheld 10 hectares and illegally sold the lands to one of its directors.
A copy of the Lagos State High Court judgement obtained by our correspondent showed that the court nullified the sale of the land on June 2, 2017.
The judgement stated that “the land was sold by Sterling Bank after the banks had assigned the loans to AMCON; the documents of the sale were signed by Mr Yemi Adeola & Ms Justina Lewa, Managing Director and Company Secretary of Sterling Bank respectively, who had no authority to do so; Sterling Bank acted alone, as the other banks did not participate in the sale; and GPL was not informed about the sale.”
GPL in the petition claimed that its staff were being tortured by suspected agents of AMCON.
While GPL mentioned officials involved in the alleged secret land sale, a response purported to be from AMCON says Awosedo was a staff of Nigeria Acceptances Limited, NAL now Sterling bank before resigning to enter private business.
It also highlighted Awosedo’s financial problems and setbacks in politics as possible reasons for alleged media onslaught.
Olajide Awosedo is said to have diverted 9 flats to his children and family which was an abuse and breach of trust.
There is need for the federal government and other relevant regulatory authorities to order an investigation to unravel hidden activities of GPL, Sterling Bank and AMCON. Also, What is the state of Delta Steel Company now Premium Steel and Mines Limited, PSML?
Recall that a former Managing Director of AMCON, Mustafa Chike-Obi was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Sources within the Presidency revealed that it was over alleged cumulative offenses committed by the former MD and his team, administration insiders and former members of the company’s board.
The source also said politicization exist in AMCON among its leadership and lack of transparency in the disposition of assets.
A lawyer, Ajibola Aribisala, SAN once raised alarm that AMCON deliberately sold Delta Steel Company at N28billion as against the N33billion offered by a Chinese company, China Polaris Technologies Company Ltd, despite the latter’s offer to pay immediately.
AMCON was set up in 2010 following former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido’s banking sector intervention, with the objectives of buying up Non Performing Loans (NPL) from the banks, re-capitalising them, and finding buyers to run them in a transparent manner.