A Lagos businessman, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, whose house is located at 35, Cooper Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, has dragged the Central Bank of Nigeria before a federal high court in Lagos.
The house was advertised by the apex bank as part of Cecilia Ibru Assets to be forfeited to the Assets management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.
Joined as co-defendants in the ensuing legal battle are Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and Attorney General of the Federation.
In an amended statement of claim filed before a federal high court in Lagos by Barrister M.A.O Okulaja, on behalf of Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, it was alleged that the property situated at 35, Cooper Road, Ikoyi, originally belonged to the Federal Government of Nigeria but was allotted to AVM Kolawole sequel to the policy of government to lease its properties to civil servants who are sitting tenants in such properties.
However, AVM Kolawole accepted this offer outrightly and arranged for the plaintiff to finance the purchase of the property from the Federal Government of Nigeria on terms agreed to by both parties. Consequently, the plaintiff paid the sum of N235,750,000 for the property and he was issued receipt. Aside this, the plaintiff also made other sundry payments to the Federal Government.
Sequel to all these payments made by the plaintiff referred to above, AVM Kolawole passed the title and transferred all his interest in the property to the plaintiff, thereafter the plaintiff took possession of the property and demolished the building on it preparatory to construction of his new personal building.
The plaintiff averred that there was never anything Cecelia Ibru had in connection with or involved in any transaction, purchase, lease or acquisition of any interest in the property, and therefore, immediately his attention was drawn to the newspaper publication, the plaintiff instructed his lawyers to take legal steps to prevent his property from being forfeited to AMCON.
The plaintiff is now urging the court to declare that the action of the Central Bank in advertising his property as part of the list of assets forfeited by Cecelia Ibru to the Federal Government of Nigeria is null and void.
The plaintiff is also urging the court to restrain the defendants and their agents from further advertising the property as part of list of assets to be forfeited to the Federal Government.