Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:40 pm
*Deed of assignment executed on a Sunday, court told
The suit instituted by The Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) against its former Director General, Nididi Okereke Onyiuke and others to recover a building alleged to have been acquired illegally has been adjourned till 1st of March, 2016 for either report of settlement or hearing.
Others joined as co-defendants in the ensuing property recovery suit are former Assistant-Director General of the NSE, Lance Musa Elakama, Hybrid Properties Limited, Oak Business and Finance Limited, the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Land Registry.
In a statement of claim filed before a Federal high court in Lagos, south west Nigeria, by a Lagos lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN, on behalf of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, it was alleged that sometime in 2012, NSE carried out an audit and discovered that it could not locate the original copy of certificate of occupancy of one landed property.
It was alleged that Dr Ndidi Okere-Onyiuke, acting in concert with Lance Musa Elekama, upon a false resolution of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, unlawfully and illegally executed a Deed of Assignment, dated 20th May, 2007, on a Sunday which is a non working day by law in favour of Hybrid Properties Limited and Oak Businesses and Finance Company Ltd. by which Nigeria Stock Exchange purportedly transferred its said property situated and known as 2 Temple Road, Ikoyi to the two companies.
Consequently, when enquiry was set in motion and information was obtained from the Federal Lands Registry, it was discovered that on the 20th of May, 2007 the Minister of Land and Housing and Urban Development gave his consent to two the deeds of assignment purportedly executed by NSE in favour of Hybrid Properties Ltd and Oak Business and Finance company.
Dr Ndidi Okereke Onyuike and Lance Musa Elekama, while being Director-General and Assistant Director General of NSE respectively executed the Deeds of Assignment in favour of the aforementioned companies, nevertheless their identities did not appear on the said Deeds of Assignment.
It was discovered through a search conducted at Corporate Affairs Commission that Lance Musa Elekama was having 600,000 shares out of the 1,000,000 fully issued shares of Oak and Finance Company while Ndidi Okereke -Onyuike was holding 800,000 of the share capital of Hybrid Properties as a majority shareholder. Consequently the NSE execution of the aforementioned Deeds of Assignment was fraudulently done by Ndidi Okereke -Oyeuike and Lance Musa Elekama, irregularly consented to by Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and fraudulently registered by Federal Lands Registry with intention of illegally, unlawfully and permanently depriving NSE of its proprietary rights to the property.
It was further alleged that NSE, to the knowledge of Ndidi Okereke and Lance Elekama who are the majority shareholders of these two companies, paid N420.8 million as purchase price of the property. The two of them who were conversant with the inner working of NSE and its approval process as it relates to the execution of documents for and on behalf of NSE, knew at the time of the execution of the Deed of Assignments that they did not have the authority of NSE as it relates to the documents. In other words, they did not have authority to execute the said Deeds of Assignment in favour of the two companies “as they were aware that the said execution was unlawful, illegal and clear violation of the Article of Association of NSE.”
The two companies, Hybrid Properties Limited, Oak Business and Finance Limited, never paid any sums to NSE as consideration for transfer/sale of the NSE’s proprietary interest in the property, neither did Ndidi Okereke-Oyuike and Lance Elekama make any such payment
Consequently, the claim against the defendants jointly and severally are as follows:
A declaration that Dr Ndidi Okereker and Lance Musa Elekama, acting alone or together, are not empowered to execute for and on behalf of NSE any instrument of transfer of title to the landed property.
An order of the court setting aside or striking down the Deed of Assignment dated 20th May 2007 purportedly executed by the NSE in favour of the two companies relating to the NSE proprietary interest in 2 Temple Road,Ikoyi Lagos.
An orderof the court directing the Defendants to pay to the plaintiffs the sum of N36million as solicitor’s fee.