“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 (retd.).
The contentious land is located at No. 7 Ojora Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The bank, in a suit marked, LD/3767/LWM/2016, claimed that though the land belonged to it, the state allocated it to Ibrahim 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.
In the statement of claim filed through its lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), the bank claimed that the legal mortgage on the property had earlier been used by two customers – Cybernectics International Ltd.; and Mr. Andy Isichei – to obtain a credit facility from it.
The bank claimed the customers’ inability to liquidate an outstanding debt of N885,818,666.7, which was later agreed to by the party to be N650,000,000, the customers relinquished the ownership of the property to the bank as full and final settlement of the debt.
Access Bank said the decision of the customers to relinquish the ownership of the property to it was the terms of settlement in a suit marked, LD/270/2009, which it filed against the customers to recover the debt.
The bank averred 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”.
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 Chief of Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy, Cybernetics International Ltd, Ibrahim and Ishiche.
The bank is seeking a court declaration that it is the lawful owner of the contentious property.
It prayed the court to make an order “setting aside the purported allocation of the property situated 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, 6th and 7th defendants by substituted means.”