June 20, 2022

N13.4bn debt: ‘Restrain Commonwealth Consortium, Agbara Estates’ directors from disposing assets’

Keke rider steals customer’s 21 bags of salt, rice

By Innocent Anaba

First Bank Nigeria Limited has asked a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, to restrain the six former directors of Commonwealth Consortium Limited and Agbara Estates Limited from dissipating the firms’ assets, known as No. 21 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, and 21.222 Hectares in Agbara Estates, Phase 3, Agbara, Ogun State, over a N13.42 billion debt, pending the determination of the suit.

It asked the court in suit FHC/L/CS//2022, to order the six former directors to yield possession of the assets, covered by Mortgage Deeds, and deliver to the Receiver/Manager, Mr. Oluwakemi Balogun, SAN, statement of accounts, inventory of all assets, list of debtors and all other documents in their custody.

The bank, Commonwealth Consortium and Agbara Estates are plaintiffs in the suit, while defendants  are former directors, Mr. Kayode Ayeni, Mrs. Kikelomo Ayeni, former Ecobank Director, Mr. Kolapo Lawson, Mr. Paulo Cruz, Mr. Tunji Lawson and Babatunde Akindele.

The bank is further contending that in a bid to avoid repayment of depositors’ funds trapped in their custody, the 1st and 2nd defendants were dissipating their assets, which were personal in nature, and taking steps to move all other moveable assets outside the jurisdiction of the court.

Counsel to the bank, Balogun, is further contending in the suit, that “The 1st to 6th defendants are also taking steps to alienate or transfer the charged assets to unsuspecting third parties. Thus, there is imminent risk of the 1st to 6th defendants frustrating the realisation of the charged assets and other assets of the 1st and 2nd defendants.”

The plaintiffs are praying the court to restrain the defendants and others including employees of the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs “from interfering with or otherwise obstructing or frustrating Mr. Balogun, the Receiver/Manager appointed by the First Bank in the course of performance of his statutory duties over the whole assets of the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs.” The assets are as covered by the Deed of Legal Mortgage of January 30, 2019, registered as No. 89 at Page 89 in Volume 213 of the Federal Lands Registry Lagos and further registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission on November 15, 2019, over the assets known as No. 21 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.