$1.7bn Debt: Banks Get Court Nod To Seize Assets Of Diezani’s Associates

A federal high court in Lagos has directed 19 banks to seize assets belonging to businessmen Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Aluko until it decides the fate of a suit seeking the recovery of the $1.7 billion owed to the federal government.

Both men are associates of Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum.

Omokore, Aluko and their oil firms allegedly owe the federal government $1, 762, 338, 284.40 for crude oil lifted under the strategic alliance agreements (SAA).

In 2016, the federal government alongside the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had sued Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and two of its directors, Omokore and Aluko.

They had urged the court to restrain the defendants and their agents from giving instructions, demanding and receiving payment from 19 commercial banks in Nigeria, eight offshore banks, and eight other companies listed before the court.

In an affidavit sworn to by Oginni Isaac Kehinde, of the federal ministry of justice and filed before Oluremi Oguntoyinbo; Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), said Omokore, Aluko and their two companies are indebted to the government.

Apart from a pending application filed by the co-defendants seeking a stay of proceeding on the suit which they had filed an appeal against, there is another application by Virtual Properties and Investment Limited as an intervener.

It is urging the court to discharge or vary its order, as it relates to Marion apartments, on the grounds that the property located at Block 8 Plots 4 and 5 Onikoyi Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi, consists of 56 apartments owned and developed by the intervener by virtue of two separate deeds of sublease the intervener conveyed its interest in 43 out of the 56 apartments to Realblanc Energy Engineering Limited, an affiliate company of the defendants.

The intervener says it still retains ownership of 13 out of the 56 apartments in Marion Apartments; therefore the order of the court is unfair to its interest and interferes with its right of ownership over the flats.

Source: The Cable

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