LAND DISPUTE: ACCESS BANK SUES AMBODE

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[Lagos]–Access Bank Plc has sued the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, for allegedly allocating a piece of land belonging to it to a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim (rtd.).

In the statement of claim filed through its lawyer, Mr Kunle Ogunba (SAN), the bank claimed that the legal mortgage on the land had earlier belonged to two of its customers – Cybernectics International Ltd.; and Mr Andy Isichei – to obtain a credit facility from it.

The bank claimed the customers’ inability to settle an outstanding debt of N885,818,666.7, which was later agreed by the party to be N650,000,000, made them forfeit the ownership of the property to the bank as full and final settlement of the debt, adding that the customers’ decision to relinquish ownership of the property to it, was the terms of settlement in a suit, LD/270/2009, filed against the customers to recover the debt.

The bank noted that Isichei had earlier handed over a Certificate of Occupancy in respect of the property to it, adding that the said C of O was “registered on the 7th day of September 2007, whose commencement day began from 3rd of September 2006 as No. 60 at page 60, Volume 111 at the Federal Lands Registry Ikoyi, Lagos State.

The bank, in a suit marked LD/3767/LWM/2016, claimed that the land, which has legally become its property, was allocated to Ibrahim by the Lagos State governor as compensation for the demolition of his (Ibrahim’s) property, which stood in the right of way of the newly constructed Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.

The bank, then, seeks a court declaration that it is the lawful owner of the contentious property, which is located at No. 7, Ojora Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Joined as defendants in the suit filed before Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere are Ambode, and the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem.

Others are the Nigerian Navy; the Chief of Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy; Ibrahim; w.; and Ishiche.

The bank prayed the court to make an order “setting aside the purported allocation of the property situate at No. 7, Ojora Street, Ikoyi, Lagos by the first defendant (Ambode) to the 3rd, 4th and more importantly, the 5th defendant.”

Justice Akinlade had on January 10, 2017, ordered the bank to serve the court papers on the 5th, 6thand 7th defendants by substituted means.




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