Refusal To Comply With Consent Judgment Of December 2021

TAJ Bank Engages EFCC In Legal Battle Over N1.2billion Forfeited Property

TAJ Bank engages EFCC

OpenLife Nigeria reports that non-interest yielding banking services provider, TAJBank Limited, has filed an application before a federal high court in Lagos to set aside the final Forfeiture order made relating to a multi-billion Naira property known as Apartment No. 1103, Belmonte, located at number 40 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi Lagos.

Justice Tijjani Ringim had on November 29, 2023 ordered a final forfeiture of the property to the Federal government following the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a suit number
FHC/CS/1818/2023,filed before the court.
TAJBank in a Motion on Notice filed by its lawyer, Anthony Ibekwe is praying the court to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from interfering with the property.

The bank is also asking for “a consequential order directing the Anti graft Agency to remove forthwith, the notice of the Final Forfeiture Order handed down by the Court on November 29, 2023, from the front door of Apartment No. 1103, Belmonte, No. 40 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi,

“A consequential order restraining the (“EFCC”) from interfering (or otherwise dealing) with the property known as Apartment No. 1103, Belmonte, No. 40 Bourdillon Road”.

In a 25-paragraph affidavit deposed to by a legal officer of TAJBank limited,Akeem Abubakar,he stated that sometime in June 2023, the bank decided to buy a property to aid its business operations in Lagos.

Consequently the bank, after several inquiries and searches, identified a property in Ikoyi, known as, “Apartment No, 2203, Belmonte, No, 40 Bourdillon Road, lkoyl, Lagos.

To determine the actual market value of the property and as part of its due diligence protocols, the bank engaged the services of Messrs. Osas & Oseji (Estate Surveyors and Valuers) to undertake a valuation of the Property, that bank also conducted due diligence searches at the Lagos State Land Registry to determine whether there are any encumbrances on the Property.

Following the outcome of its due diligence inquiries, the bank commenced discussions with representatives of the entity (i.e. Blessed Rageous Integrated Services Limited) with proprietary interest in the Property, apartment 1103 Belmonte located at No. 40 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi Lagos.

The bank purchased the property for the sum of N1,271,600,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) then executed a contract of sale with the said Blessed Rageous Integrated Services Limited.

Following the conclusion of the sale transaction, the bank took possession of the Property with a view of furnishing same for its use.

However on or about March 25, 2024, a letter was delivered to the Property by pasting it on the front door thereof.

To the Applicant’s utter shock and disbelief, the letter suggested that the Property is the subject of a Final Forfeiture Order, handed down by the Court on November 29, 2023.

He added that upon a close scrutiny of the enrolled copy of the Final Forfeiture Order of the court, the bank discovered that the Order refers to 1 Unit of 4 Bedroom Luxury Apartment lying and situate at Belmonte Bourdilon Road lkoyi Lagos”.

He stated that in order to unravel the circumstances behind the issuance of the Final Forfeiture Order, the Applicant engaged Messrs. Opal Law Office, a law firm to conduct 3 search on the case file for the matter, at the Federal High Court.

Mr Abubakar stated that unless the EFCC is restrained, the bank’s right to deal with the Property having invested heavily on the said property in manner that it deems fit would be unduly fettered.

The presiding Judge,Justice Kehinde Ogundare has fixed June 3, 2024 for hearing of the application

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