Agriculture

We followed due process in leasing VI property, Ecobank tells court

We followed due process in leasing VI property, Ecobank tells court Property By Moji Eniola Ikeja, Feb. 15, 2019 (NNN) Ecobank Plc on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court it followed due process in leasing the property located in Victoria Island, Lagos, which is a subject of an ongoing N500 million estate fraud dispute. […]

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We followed due process in leasing VI property, Ecobank tells court
Property
By Moji Eniola
Ikeja, Feb. 15, 2019 (NNN) Ecobank Plc on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court it followed due process in leasing the property located in Victoria Island, Lagos, which is a subject of an ongoing N500 million estate fraud dispute.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that Ecobank represented by Mr Adeolu Dawodu, a staff of the bank, made the disclosure at the ongoing criminal trial of Semasa James, a prince of Kweme Land in Badagry.
Semasa is accused by the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of defrauding the estate of his late father, Oba Afolabi James of N500 million.
One of the allegations is that the prince on July 2005 in Lagos, fraudulently converted the property at Plot 282 Ajose Adeogun St., Victoria Island, Lagos, by leasing it to the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc now Ecobank Plc.
Dawodu who described himself as being in charge of property and realty services in the bank informed the court that due process was followed by the bank in leasing the Victoria Island property.
Led in evidence by Mr O. Olabisi, the SFU prosecutor, the banker said though he was not a staff of Ecobank when the lease agreement was entered into by the parties, he was familiar with the transaction.
He said the bank had in good faith, prepared a lease agreement document to the first defendant (Semasa James) who had represented the estate of late Oba Afolabi James in the business deal.
Dawodu noted that the first time he met James and Afolabi Kazeem, his codefendant was at the SFU when Ecobank was invited to give a statement in respect of the property transaction.
“When I was invited to the SFU, to give evidence on the subject matter, I made my statement and we presented some documents to the SFU.
“The documents we presented to the SFU include – account mandate, letter of administration, the account opening documents of the Oceanic Bank.
“The lease agreement was prepared, and executed by the bank to the estate, which was represented by Mr Kola James (the first defendant),” Dawodu said.
Following his testimony, Dawodu presented a Certificate of Compliance from Ecobank in respect of the property, which was marked as an exhibit by the court.
NNN reports that Semasa and Kazeem his co-defendant, are facing a seven-count charge of conspiracy, cheating, stealing, forging of company resolution, fraudulent disposing of trust property, and forgery proffered against them by the SFU.
According to the SFU, the prince fraudulently converted N500 million property belonging to the late king between 2000 and 2017 in Lagos.
The prosecution alleged that Semasa had fraudulently sold a property located at Plot 1440, Ilesanmi St., Itire Road, Surulere, Lagos, to a private individual and illegally leased another property located at Plot 282 Ajose Adeogun St., Victoria Island, Lagos, to Ecobank Plc.
Semasa had also allegedly forged some purchase receipts of his late father’s property.
The SFU claimed that Kazeem, Semasa’s personal assistant, was as an accomplice in defrauding the late king’s estate.
Kazeem allegedly connived with Semasa to trick the beneficiaries of the late king of N150 million, which was part of the proceeds of sale of a property located at Dideolu Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The offences contravene Sections 383(1), 383(2) (f), 390(9), 421,434, 465 and 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until March 18 for continuation of trial. (NNN)
MAE/SA
Edited by Salif Atojoko
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https://nnn.ng/we-followed-due-process-in-leasing-vi-property-ecobank-tells-court/

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