Over three hundred residents/families of Victory Park Estate sitting on about thirty-three Hectares of land located in Osapa London along Lekki-Epe Expressway have raised the alarm over move by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON to forcefully evict them from their properties.
Speaking with journalists on behalf of the residents in Lagos, Mr. Benjamin Atebe, a lawyer, urged the president to call all the authorities concerned to order.
He said authorities concerned have brought upon them untold hardship, anguish and pain due to a combination of corporate fraud, unbridled abuse of power, and deliberately orchestrated inhuman treatment.
He said, “We wish to state that categorically that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), some banks, the Awosedo family, and the Police are all culpable in this gross act of human rights abuse which has seen people being forcefully evicted from their homes using the instrument of government (the police), and faceless thugs.”
Read the statement below:
1. As far back as 2003 some of us bought into Victory Park Estate land to develop our houses after doing our due legal diligence and confirming at the Lagos State Land registry that the title to the land that is in the name of Knight Rook Limited was free from any encumbrance. The legal interpretation of this was that the title was good, no mortgage, pledge, charge etc that had been obtained against it by any financial institution or any other company.
From 2003 till about June 2017, the present homeowners in the estate continued to buy into the estate and also developed, living in the estate without molestation by anyone, either government or otherwise paying their Land Use Charge to Lagos State annually after having our various titles to our properties registered.
2. To our amazement in June 2017, we all woke up to see a publication that Knight Rook Limited, the owner of the global C of O over Victory Park Estate was in Receivership with other companies over a loan one of the companies Grant Properties Limited allegedly took from Sterling Bank, Skye bank now Polaris bank, Wema bank and FCMB and used Knight Rook Limited with its shares as security that the companies have defaulted in paying while the said loan, now an eligible bank assets was subsequently sold to AMCON in 2011 or 2012.
3. So it was AMCON that went to court to put the companies in Receivership.
4. We gathered that following the suit filed by AMCON, the shareholders of Knight Rook Limited as security for the facility, transferred their shares to the nominees of the banks and resigned their positions as directors in Knight Rook Limited relinquishing their right to continue to act as directors of Knight Rook Limited.
Interestingly, we discovered that the Awosedo’s family who owned the companies continued to act to the knowledge of the banks and they (the banks) never stopped them from acting despite not being directors of Knight Rook Limited anymore which according to them, a change in that direction was effected at the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja.
Despite the removal of the Awosedo’s from Knight Rook Limited, an agreement was entered by the banks with the other company of the Awosedo’s; Grant Properties Limited to market and sell all the land in Victory Park Estate and remit sales proceeds to the banks which to the knowledge or active collaboration by these banks, the Awosedo’s again defaulted without the bank doing anything and even AMCON after they purchased the asset.
This agreement between the banks and the Awosedo’s companies was made in 2006. So from 2006 until AMCON’s publication of putting the companies in receivership, members of the public were misled by the Awosedo’s, the banks and AMCON to believe that the Awosedos have a right to the land in Victory Park estate held in the name of Knight Rook Limited.
THIS IS HOW THINGS STAND PRESENTLY
With the receivership by AMCON of Knight Rook Limited and by virtue of assets of Knight Rook Limited, AMCON is now laying claim to all the land in Victory Park Estate whether already sold and developed years ago or not and have continued to harass innocent bonafide purchasers without notice of their interest.
They have filed several suits against the Awosedo’s companies in court where by some magic since the companies are in receivership, Knight Rook Limited admitted in court that it is indebted to AMCON and a consent judgment was made in that regard against Knight Rook Limited. These suits were filed by AMCON without joining any of the homeowners in any of the suits but have turned around to use the judgment in those suits to take over the properties of homeowners in the estate.
On our part, on being aware of the suits and the attempt of the Receiver Manager appointed by the court on behalf of AMCON, we have taken steps to go through due legal process to challenge the right of AMCON to interfere with our possession but unfortunately, for eighteen months, nothing has been done and AMCON and its RM have continued to make life unbearable for us as they are not only taking over unoccupied and undeveloped properties, but even the ones in occupation, people are being forced out by the use of thugs and police!
Just yesterday, (Wednesday 25th June, 2019) two families were forced out of their houses and their properties sealed by court officials acting on these judgments obtained against the Awosedo’s companies.
We have also written petition letters to the Presidency, the Inspector General of Police office, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and even the board and management of AMCON, yet no respite.
We have heard, but refuse to believe that that the Inspector General of Police and the Presidency actually approved the actions of AMCON against us innocent law abiding people who never took any loan from any bank to buy property in Victory Park Estate and therefore defaulted in paying. Pursuant to the above, it leaves a sour taste in the moth to see that the Awosedos, the banks, and even AMCON officials who committed and orchestrated this shameful fraud on our economy and us are left to enjoy their loot whilst we suffer no reason. Members of the public will be shocked that out of pure frustration, a family within the estate has started making plans to relocate to another country within the next few days!
Finally, we are making a passionate appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector General of Police, and the leadership of AMCON to place premium on the current administration’s anti-corruption mantra and right these wrongs by calling AMCON to order.
It is a complete travesty of justice that ordinary Nigerians like us are treated like sub-humans and strangers in our own land and in a country governed by a democratically elected government.