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N26bn Debt: Court Grants Access Bank’s Request to Take over Sunny Odogwu Properties

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A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday upheld the N26 billion debt claimed by Access Bank Plc against the estate of the late Ide Ahaba of Asaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu.

Justice Daniel Osiagor in his judgement upheld the Access bank’s claim, and dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the estate of the late Chief Sunny Odogwu challenging the claim of the bank.

The court held that a consent judgement had earlier been entered in which parties to the debt agreed on the payment of N12 billion as full and final payment.

The defendants in the preliminary objection had argued that having taken advantage of the consent judgement, the plaintiff can’t turn around and ask the court to set aside same.

However, Access Bank in its claim before the court argued that the judgement was floored in that it was delivered by a court that lacked jurisdiction to entertain it as at the time it was entered as consent judgement.

The bank through its counsel, Kemi Balogun, SAN, submitted that the matter having been placed at the bosom of the Court of Appeal, the lower court which entered the consent judgement  was at the time it gave the judgement Functus Officio (lacked jurisdiction), and that the only court that has the power to adjudicate on such matter at that level is the appellate court.

Justice Osiagor while dismissing the objection of the defendants nullified the consent judgement entered by Justice Rilwan Aikawa, which sanctioned the consent judgement on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to grant such order as it is functus officio as at the time he granted the order.

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The judge then affirmed the earlier judgement of justice  Saliu Saidu, which ordered the defendants to pay its outstanding indebtedness  of N26 billion.

Justice Osiagor however ruled that the payment must be less all amount earlier paid to the judgement creditor

The court also awarded a cost of N200,000 against the defendants.

It would be recalled that Access Bank Plc and the late Ide Ahaba of Asaba, Chief Sonny Odogwu, entered into a N26 billion loan agreement when he was alive.

The late businessman wanted to use the facility to build luxury apartments to be known as Le Meridien Grand Towers in highbrow Ikoyi, Lagos.

In line with global best practices, the bank demanded collateral security.

Thus Odogwu mortgaged prime properties in Lagos, Abuja, Dubai, and Los Angeles among others to Access Bank in return for the facility.

After the death of the businessman, the mortgaged properties eventually became a subject of litigation

Trouble started when the estate of the late Chief Odogwu, reacted angrily to a move by Access Bank to take over the uncompleted property.

The bank had in its originating summons urged the court to enter judgment in the sum jointly or severely against the first to third defendants, being the outstanding sum as at September 30, 2014, advanced by the bank for the defendants.

The bank also asked the court for an order granting leave to it to foreclose and sell the said property situated at 31-35 Ikoyi Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos State and an order directing judicial sale and granting leave to sell the said property, being the security for the sum of N26, 229, 934, 035.22

The bank also urged the court to direct Leadway Trustees Limited to surrender all title documents in its custody in relation to the said property.

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Father, daughters, relation die after ‘amala’ meal in Kogi

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Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Edward Egbuk

The people of Mopa town in the Mopa-Muro Local Government Area of Kogi State have been thrown into mourning following the mysterious death of four members of a family after reportedly eating a cassava flour meal known as ‘Amala.’

The deceased died in quick succession between Friday, September 30 and Sunday, October 2.

Those who died included the family head, Pa. Motilewa, two daughters and a girl who is said to be their relation.

One of the deceased daughters identified as Motun was a National Certificate of Education holder and teacher in the town. The mother, however, miraculously survived.

The event has left residents of the town and the entire neighbourhood in mourning, fear and confusion, with many calling for an investigation into the death of the family members.

It was gathered that the family prepared the ‘Amala’ meal from the left over of cassava flour from which they had previously made and eaten ‘Fufu’. They were said to have spread the processed shafts in the sun to dry for some days.

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The dried flakes were subsequently ground into soft powder which was used for ‘Amala’ which they ate on Thursday evening, before retiring to bed.

An eyewitness reported that the victims became sick overnight and efforts were made to stabilise them. Unfortunately, the youngest member of the family passed away on Friday, quickly followed on Saturday by the relation living with the family.

With the sudden passage, the others were moved to the highly rated ECWA Hospital, Egbe, for better medical attention.

Sadly, the eldest of the daughters, Motun, gave up the ghost at about 3:00am Sunday. The father also died later the same Sunday.

At the time of filing this report, the mother, identified as Molomo, was still alive in the hospital and under a close observation.

Members of the community are said to be suspecting foul play in the sudden death and have, therefore, suspended the burial for proper investigations to unravel the cause of their deaths.

“We are shocked. I have never seen a thing like this. We suspect that someone may have poisoned the food. For what? We cannot tell. I’m confused and in pains. This is too much to bear,” a member of the family lamented.

Earlier in August this year, five persons lost their lives after eating a cassava flour meal prepared at their family house in Usugnwe-Okaito, Okehi local government area of Kogi State.

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Building collapse claims one as flood displaces 651,053 in Anambra communities

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Flood in Anambra

One person died in Enugu-Otu, Aguleri in Anambra State, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed.

The Acting State Coordinator, Mr. Thickman Tanimu who disclosed this to reporters on Monday, said the deceased, identified as Ginikanwa Izuoba passed on following sudden collapse of his apartment occasioned by impact of the flood.

He further hinted that no fewer than 651,053 persons were rendered homeless by the disaster in six local government areas of the state.

He added that Ogbaru Local Government Area recorded highest number of victims followed by Anambra East and West Local Government Areas.

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“NEMA, accompanied by officials of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, visited Umueze-Anam, Mkpunando, Igbedo, Inoma and Ifite-Ogwari all in Anambra East and Anyamelum Council Areas,” he said.

Appreciating Anambra SEMA for taking certain proactive measures to mitigate impact of the disaster, Tanimu identified such measures to include identification of 13 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, recruitment of camp managers, support staff and activation of health workers to work with people in the camps.

“The camps so far activated include the Ifite-Ogwari and Igbakwu Health Centres,” he added.

The Nation

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Father Mbaka Removed From Adoration Ministry As Worshippers Attack Priest Brought As Replacement

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Ejike Mbaka

… Fr Amadi replaces Mbaka

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