N3.9bn Debt: Access Bank joins suit against Omokore, Kola Aluko

Olajide Omokore in company of Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officials

In a bid to recover a debt of N3,878,218,911.18 from Olajide Omokore, and his company Energy Property Development Limited, EPD, a Nigerian commercial bank Access Bank Plc has filed an application to join as an interested party in the suit filed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and two of its agencies against two oil companies Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited (AEBD), and their two Directors for the recovery of the sum of $1,762,338,184.40 on account of crude oil lifting between Federal Government and the two companies which debts they have refused to pay.

Joined as co-defendants are two Nigerian businessmen Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Aluko who are both chairman and Director of the two. companies respectively who were alleged to be the cronies of the former Petroleum minister Diezani Allison Madueke.

However when the matter was mentioned, the counsels to the two parties informed the court that moves are ongoing between the two parties for amicable out of court settlement, but the counsel representing Access bank Plc, Kenechukwu Chukwujekwu told the court about pending application for order of the court to join the bank as an interested party to defend the suit in order to recover a debt of N3.9billion from the third defendant Olajide Omokore.

In an affidavit sworn to by a legal practitioner, Kenechukwu Chukwujekwu and filed before the court by Barrister Paul Usoro SAN, the deponent averred that, between April 2006 and June 2015 Energy Development Property Limited in which Olajide Omokore is the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer applied to Access bank and was granted a total sum of N4,990,000,000 and $4,500,000 term loan facilities for the purpose of financing the purchase of property on 33A Cooper Road, off Alexandra Avenue, Ikoyi Lagos and for the purchase of 20 Units of flats at 8, Gerrard Road Ikoyi, Lagos state, while part of the money was used for the purpose of financing renovation and upgrade of various properties owned by the company.

The credit facility was secured by, legal mortgage over the Cooper Road property and legal charge over the Gerrard Road property, Personal Guarantee/indemnity of Olajide Omokore and irrevocable domiciliation of rental proceeds payable from existing and prospective tenants.

Kola Aluko, 47, allegedly helped former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, launder her money in the United States by acquiring properties

Consequently, Access Bank contended that EPD is presently indebted to it in the sum of N3,878,218,911.18, therefore it will be in the interest of justice that Access Bank be joined as party to the suit as the bank will be prejudiced if it is prevented from defending its interest in the suit as it affects the order over the Cooper road and Gerrard road properties.

The bank also prayed the court to vary or discharge the order made on 25th of May, 2016 as it affects the interest of the bank in respect of the two properties.

After listening to the submission of all the counsels the presiding judge, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, adjourned till 5th of March, 2018 for either report of settlement or hearing of the suit.

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Sometimes in 2016, Federal Republic of Nigeria, alongside, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Nigeria Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) dragged Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, Atlantic Energy Brass Development limited and two of their directors Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Aluko before the court, urging the court to restrain the defendants and their agents.

However called within and outside Nigeria from giving instructions, demanding, accepting or receiving payment from 19 commercial bank in Nigeria, eight offshore banks and eight other companies listed before the court.

In an affidavit sworn to by a legal practitioner Oginni Isaac Kehinde from Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, and filed before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo by a Lagos lawyer Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN, the deponent averred that Omokore, Aluko and their two companies are indebted to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the sum of $1,762,338,284.40 on account of crude oil lifting under strategic Alliance Agreements between them and Federal Government.

Mr Ogini averred further that the defendants by virtue of the agreement was granted lincense to lift crude oil and other associated products in Nigeria for sale and for parties to share the profits in agreed terms.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, received kickbacks as minister of petroleum

The defendants indeed lifted and sold the crude oil and have been paid but bluntly and deliberately refused to pay the Federal Government, rather they unlawfully diverted and converted the profits share due to the Federal Government in the sum of $1,762,338,184.40 to their private use.

In a particular of diversion, it was alleged as follows that:

Vehicles with combined value of over N800 million were purchased by the defendants and donated to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its then national chairman Prince Uche Secondus.

Additional vehicles valued at over N130million were purchased by the defendants and distributed to former minister of Petroleum Mrs Diezani Alison-Maduekwe and some other managerial staff of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

Sums of $18,548,619.99 and N1,070,000,000 were paid to FBN Mortgages Limited by Kola Aluko as part payment for block of flats consisting of 26 flats at 46 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos purchased at a total cost of N5,210,520,315.

Payment of a total sum of $25,839,606.77and N95,000,000 was made to Real Bank for the purpose of part financing the acquisition of the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development limited (AEBD) companies property as well as renovation of the properties listed below :

(1) Mason apartments situated at 6 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos comprising 60 units of 3 bedrooms apartment valued at $78,000,000.
(2) Marion apartments Block 8 located at 4&5, Onikoyi Estate, Banana Island, ikoyi, Lagos consisting of 43 units of apartments valued at $76,160,000
(3) Renovation of apartments block at 33A Cooper Road Ikoyi, Lagos at a total cost of $4,937,750.
(4) Renovation of the Admiralty Towers at 8 Gerrard road Ikoyi, Lagos.

Additional funds transfers among others to the tune of $69,912,981.15 were made to several companies namely; Mia Hotels Limited, First Motors Limited, V.I.Petrochemicals, Evergreen Reality & Management, Wlz Trade Limited, DE First Union Integrated Services and Amity Plus Limited.

Mr Ogini also averred that Kola Aluko literally took residence outside the shores of Nigeria in order to facilitate the diversion of the proceeds of the crude oil lifted.

The venture which includes physical assets, cash in the bank and shares as at 2014 are as follows:

(1) Grove End Road, London, UK
(2) 755 Sarbone Road, Los Angeles, US
(3) 952 North Alpine Drive Los Angeles, US
(4) 815 Cima Del Mundo, Los Angeles, US
(5) 807 Coma Del Mundo (Land), Los Angeles, US
(6) 1049 Fifth Avenue, New York, US
(7) 1948&1952 Tolls Avenue, Santa Baraba
(8) 157 West 57th St, New York
(9) 4100 Let Revenge, Dubai
(10) Residences in Nigeria
(11) Avenue Towers, Lagos Nigeria
(12) Land in Mont Tremblat, Canada
(13) Colina D’oro Montagnola, Switzerland

CASH IN BANK ACCOUNTS
(1) LDT Switzerland -$25milion
(2) Corner Bank, Lugano, Switzerland – $1million.
(3) Deutsche Bank, Geneva -$40million
(4) HSBC London $175,000.

INVESTMENT IN SHARES
(1) 75% shareholding in Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria and Atlantic Energy Brass Development
(2) 10% Shareholding in Seven Energy.

OTHER HOLDINGS
(1) Galactica Star
(2) 20 Year Berth Lease -Barcelona
(3) Watch Collection
(4) Car Collections (58 Vehicles)
(5) Aeroplane-Global Express S5-GMG
(6) Aeroplane-Bombardier Global 6000 9H-OPE
(7) Aeroplane Bombardier

Consequently, the court was urged as a matter of utmost urgency, public interest and in aid of administration of justice to issue a worldwide Mareva order restraining the defendants from dissipating all known assets directly or indirectly by the defendants including but not limited to assets listed on the face of the motion paper filed before the court.

After hearing the submission of Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN the counsel to the Federal Government, the presiding judge Oluremi Oguntoyinbo issued an order restraining the defendants and their agents from demanding, receiving, transacting, mortgaging or whatsoever dealing in any manners with the assets of the defendants in banks, houses, land and shares in Nigeria and others located outside Nigeria, while the Nigerian banks listed in the motion papers were ordered to within seven days to sequestrate all money and negotiable instruments standing to the credit of the defendants in the sum of $1,762,338,184.40 and keep same in an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court as trustee of same pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The court also ordered that the order of the court should be served on the affected parties by way of advertisement in Newspapers circulating within and outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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