A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ogunkoya Adeshina, has been dragged before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, over alleged unpaid loan of N58,200,375.34.
Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, in a statement of claim, accompanied by a written statement on oath by its Credit Manager, Temitayo Abolade, alleged that sometime in 2007 Hon. Adeshina applied to Sterling Bank Plc, for an overdraft facility to finance the purchase of a 4-bedroom Semi-Detached Duplex in Alausa, Ikeja.
The Bank by an offer letter dated 2nd July, 2007 granted the Defendant (Hon Ogunkoya Adeshina), who resides at No. 24 Adeolu Street, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos State, a mortgage facility to the tune of N23,100,000.00 (Twenty Three Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) to finance the purchase of the 4-Bedroom Semi-Detached Duplex.
Also, inline with an offer letter of restructured facility dated 28th June, 2010, Sterling Bank Plc granted the Defendant a restructured facility in the sum of N35, 000,000.00 (Thirty Five Million Naira Only) to finance the purchase of one unit of a 4-bedroom semi-detached duplex at Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to AMCON statement of claim filed before the Court by its Lagos Attorney, Barr. Akintayo Iwilade, the conditions of this additional loan facility are as follow:
BENEFICIARY: HON. Ogunkoya Adeshina
LENDER: Sterling Bank Plc
FACILITY TYPE: Sterling Acquire-Mortgage Finance
AMOUNT: N35,000,000.00 (Thirty Five Million Naira Only)
PURPOSE: For the purchase of one unit of 4-Bedroom Semi-Detached Duplex at Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Ikeja, Lagos.
INTEREST RATE. Interest shall be charged at Sterling Bank’s margin leading rate (currently 18%) payable monthly in arrears. Such interest shall be debited to the amount outstanding under the facility, under advice for immediate settlement.
Sterling Bank’s margin lending rate is determined by ruling market conditions and is therefore liable to fluctuations, while reserving the right to vary this rate without notice. Sterling Bank shall endeavour to advice you of any change in the rate as soon as possible.
SECURITY: Legal Mortgage on the property financed
Post dated cheques to cover principal, interest and fees direct debt instruction
The Defendant however secured the loan facility for the 4-Bedroom Semi-Detached Duplex situate at Unit 5, Adonai Court, Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Alausa, with the knowledge that failure to meet the loan obligation will amount to a foreclosure/ forfeiture of the property in satisfaction of the Defendant’s indebtedness among other lawful debt recovery actions.
Following the Defendant’s failure to repay the due debt sum and its accrued interests, the Bank assigned all rights, title, interest, benefits, receivables and proceeds arising from or in connection with the Defendant’s outstanding loan obligation sometime in 2012, to AMCON in accordance with the statutory laws.
The Defendant’s indebtedness to the Claimant arising from the unpaid debt to the Bank stands at N58, 200, 375. 34 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Naira and Thirty-Eight Kobo Only) being loan indebtedness (with accrued commercial interest) as at 31st July, 2016 with interests continuing to accrue till date.
The Claimant has demanded for the sum to be repaid and equally made several attempts to reach an amicable settlement with the Defendant, but he has failed to settle the said indebtedness.
The demands made, and other steps taken, by the Claimant include:
– The Claimant’s Solicitors, Simmons Cooper Partners, acting for and on behalf of the Claimant demanded the Defendant to liquidate his cumulative loan indebtedness, which stood at N58,200,375.34 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred And Seventy Five Naira, Thirty Four Kobo Only) as at 31st July, 2016 with interests accruing till date.
– AMCON to the knowledge of its Solicitors has also actively pursued the Defendant with the aim of compelling him to repay the loan sum together with its accrued interests. However, the Defendant remained evasive and has refused to perform his obligations in line with the terms of his loan agreement with the Bank.
– The Defendant also failed to contact the Claimant for a repayment or shown any interest in liquidating its current indebtedness to the claimant. The Defendant’s failure to repay his indebtedness equally impaired the Claimant’s fulfillment of one of its core statutory mandates.
– The squandering or dissipation of the collateral and subject matter of this suit will render AMCON’s capacity to fulfill its prescribed statutory function of recovering unpaid debt nugatory.
The Claimant’s claims against the Defendant are as follows:
a). An order entering judgment against the Defendant in favour of AMCON in the sum of N58, 200, 375. 34 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Naira and Thirty-Eight Kobo Only) being loan indebtedness (with accrued commercial interest) to the Claimant as at 31st July, 2016, till date.
b). An order directing the Defendant to pay the accruing commercial interest at the rate of 17% and 18% on the Defendant’s loan indebtedness to the Claimant from the 31st July, 2016 to the date a final judgment is delivered and until final liquidation of the sums thereof.
c). An order directing the Defendant to pay post-judgment interest on the sums in (a.) & (b.) above at the rate of 10% per annum until the final liquidation of the sums thereof.
d). An order of the Court mandating the Defendant to make full payment of the sum of N58, 200, 375. 34 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Naira and Thirty-Eight Kobo Only) being loan indebtedness (with accrued commercial interest) and post judgment interest within 14days of the delivery of this judgement.
e). A forfeiture order against the Defendant (in partial satisfaction of the Defendant’s loan obligations to the Claimant) of a 4-Bedroom Semi Detached Duplex situate at Unit 5, Adonai Court, Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja where the Defendant fail to make payment in reliefs stated above within 14days of the delivery of judgment.
f). An order allowing the Claimant to dispose the 4-Bedroom Semi-Detached Duplex situate at Unit 5, Adonai Court, Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja at the best achievable price in compliance with Section 5 of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2015 (in partial satisfaction of the Defendant’s loan indebtedness to the Claimant).
g). An order granting the Claimant ownership, control, disposition and/or lien rights on all shares held in any companies by the Defendant within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
– Cash at hand or cash held in any Bank and/or financial institution in Nigeria standing to the credit of the Defendant.
– All moveable and immoveable assets, including real estate property, held by the Defendant as may be validly ascertained until final liquidation of the debt/full judgment sum.
h). General and Exemplary Damages in the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira Only) in favour of AMCON and against the Defendant. Also, cost of this action against the Defendant.
However, Hon. Adeshina, in his statement of defence filed before the Court, denied almost all in the statement of claim of AMCON, but admitted paragraphs 3 and 4 of the claim to the extent that he took loan of N23, 100,000.00 (Twenty Three Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) from Sterling Bank Plc in 2008 to add up with his money to acquire the property at Unit 5, Adonai Court, Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State. The Defendant noted that he has since been servicing the said loan facility.
He also admitted that paragraph 5 of the statement of claim to the extent that it was the loan of N23,100,000.00 (Twenty Three Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) with its accrued interest amounting to N35,000,000.00 that was restructured to be repaid within 60 months with monthly instalment of N888,769.96, but denied any other facts contained therein.
Responding further to the claim, the Defendant averred that the Plaintiff was economical with the truth in the matter, as he was only notified of the Claimant’s acquisition of the Defendant’s loan facility with a letter dated May 3, 2011.
He noted either it was before or after the Plaintiff acquired the Defendant’s debt, he (defendant) had been servicing the loan facility regularly.
The Defendant averred that he paid the sum of N300,000.00 to the Sterling Bank Plc monthly from the date of the loan facility till the Plaintiff took over the facility in this matter.
He equally noted that upon the acquisition of the debt arising from the loan facility, the Defendant made payment in the sum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) to the Plaintiff, as part of repayment of the loan facility in June 2012.
He claimed that he does not owe the plaintiff up to the amount it claimed in the suit.
The Defendant stressed that the 17% and 18% interest on the loan facility was the unilateral decisions of the Plaintiff. He noted that there was never a time the Plaintiff made the Defendant’s statement of account available to him despite demands, and never received any notice of demand from the Plaintiff at all.
In his further response, the Defendant averred that he was terribly sick and remained on sick bed till he was flown overseas for kidney transplant for survival.
He stated that the property and subject matter of this suit is in good state with its market value over and above the sum of N70,000,000.00 (Seventy Million Naira) Only.
Consequently, the prayers sought by AMCON are in bad faith in that, the Plaintiff never provided any valuation report to show the market value of the property at Unit 5, Adonai Court, Central Business District, Opposite MKO Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, is below the sum to which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff.
He noted that if disposed off it is more than enough to satisfy the debt without attaching any other property of the Defendant.
The Defendant however expressed his readiness for amicable settlement of this matter rather than wasting the time of the Court and the Plaintiff on the rigour of trial.
Meanwhile, the Defendant described the Claimant’s claims, as frivolous, vexatious and should be dismissed or struck out with substantial costs.