Following the seizure of some plots of land within Victory Park Estate, Igbokushu-Lekki in Lagos State by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the estate owners association has filed over 100 law suits against the corporation.
The estate owners alleged that AMCON violated court orders by selling the disputed plots and called for a review of their conduct, adding that members of the association ran the risk of losing their life savings.
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Our correspondent who spoke with the Association of Victory Park Estate Bare Land Owners in Lagos, the Managing Partner, Pistis Partners law firm, Mayowa Owolabi, representing some of the affected members of the association, revealed that the members of the association had filed over 100 separate law suits against AMCON.
Owolabi said the members acquired several plots of land within the estate from a company called Knight Rook Limited through an affiliated company called Grant Properties Limited in 2002.
He noted that the claimants, upon acquiring the land, proceeded to register the title deeds at the land registry, paid all registrations fees and statutory charges and thereafter procured the governor’s consent.
According to him, a certain Mr Lanre Olaoluwa, in 2017, placed a signage on the perimeter fence around the estate indicating that AMCON was entitled to take possession of some plots of land within the estate based on the orders of the Federal High Court made on June 16, 2016, in Suit No: FHC/AB/CS/69/2016 – AMCON v Havilah Villas Limited & 10 Ors and Suit No: FHC/L/CS/744/2017- AMCON v Knight Rook Limited & 5 Ors.
He explained that, “Following an investigation, our members discovered that the said Mr Lanre Olaoluwa was purportedly appointed by AMCON as the Receiver/Manager of Knight Rook Limited and Grant Properties Limited, to take over both companies and their assets due to their indebtedness to some banks as the debts have been assigned to AMCON.
“However, on further investigations conducted by our members, the referenced judgment did not confer ownership of their respective plots of land on AMCON, the said judgment stated that one hectare was to be seized and not 49 hectares (all the plots of land) within the estate. And so members of the association (about 100 affected persons) have filed several suits right from 2016 which are still pending before the High Court of Lagos State, but we discovered that notwithstanding the pending suits, someone (thought to be AMCON) continues to sell the disputed plots and is actively encouraging the persons that he purportedly sold the plots to carry out construction work on the plots.”
This, Owolabi said, was carried out in violation of the doctrine of pending legal action and subsisting orders of injunction, while adding that the action taken by AMCON was detrimental to the members of the association’s life savings.
He, therefore, said, “We are calling on the federal government and the Lagos State Government to review AMCON’s conduct by protecting the interests of Nigerians. AMCON has to answer pertinent questions, they should allow the court to work because they are obliged to conduct its affairs in accordance with the tenets of the law and not be seen to be taking steps that clearly amount to flagrant disregard for court orders and due process.”
In his reaction, Albert Nwanozie, head of AMCON’s legal department, said, “The corporation works within the ambit of the law and with a sense of responsibility carries out its functions; and in this case, was to recover outstanding debt from Knight Rook Limited with the powers vested in the corporation by the provisions of the AMCON Act, as amended,” and stressed that, “Debtors should pay their debts for the sake of the Nigerian economy.”