Suru Worldwide Boss, Edward Akinlade Applauds Supreme Court’s Verdict Against AMCON Seizure Of Assets

      Awaits Full Implementation of Court Order

      Demands N28 Billion From AMCON For Damage claims

      Calls FG To Probe AMCON’s Operations

•       Advises Pres. Tinubu To Scrap AMCON, Roll Our Interventions To Revive Troubled Companies

 

 

Suru Worldwide Boss, Edward Akinlade has applauded the Supreme Court of Nigeria for its decisive judgement in the lawsuit between his company, Suru Worldwide and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over seizure of some of his company’s properties by AMCON.

 

While addressing the press on Friday 1st March, 2024, Akinlade said the landmark judgment which was delivered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the 16th of February, 2024 was a pleasurable news to him. He said the Supreme Court ruled that AMCON’s possession of Suru World Wide’s properties which was premised on a Federal High Court order was illegal as the apex court of law has struck down the said court order. He said the Supreme Court has ordered AMCON to go back to the Federal High Court, Lagos and start afresh as if nothing has been ordered and join Suru Worldwide in a fresh lawsuit.

 

He said the initial Federal High Court Order had empowered AMCON to seize 3 of his company’s priced assets which were located in the high brew areas in Ikeja; one is at 12, Allen; the second at 86, Opebi while the third is located at 12, Rev Ogunbiyi.

 

Akinlade, the renowned real estate business mogul exclaimed that the Supreme Court judgement was remarkable and attests to the fact that it is the last hope of the common man in the country. He said the judgement has helped restore hope for companies who have fallen victims to AMCON unscrupulous means of taking possession of properties of individuals and businesses in the name of helping to resolve the non-performing loan assets.

 

He went ahead by narrating what transpired between Suru Worldwide Limited and AMCON which resulted in a legal battle which has been lingering for the past 7 years.

 

He said; “We took a loan from Oceanic Bank in those days for about 13.5 Billion Naira and part of it was invested in Best Western Hotel. Part of it was used to buy a lot of land in Ikeja, GRA. And we were paying the loan. “Towards the tail end of the former CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi arrival, John Aboh who was appointed as the MD of Oceanic Bank was just selling our properties behind our back. We were here, how can somebody tell us they have bought our lands? Oceanic Bank was doing that. And then they wrote us a letter that they are not giving us any more money that we have spent part of the loan. All the credits in our bank accounts were taken.

 

“One day, we were just told that whatever that was left in our loan was sold to AMCON for 8.5 Billion Naira. So that is the contention.  When AMCON came in, they went to the Federal High Court that the court should agree that they had bought the loan properly. But the case was dismissed because AMCON should not be buying performing loans. This was a judgement AMCON was told Suru is not owing them any money. Then they now started seeking what I call ‘Jankara Judgement’ from other courts.

 

“And while all the debts issues have been dismissed as abuse of court process, AMCON lawyer, Joseph Nwobike (Lagos High Court Convicted SAN) and the then AMCON MD, Ahmed Kuru took The Police to court on recovery of 3 of Suru World Wide assets. They got a ‘Jankara judgement’ against a functioning Best Western Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos state without mentioning us in the suit. On 21st September, 2017, 200 strong men of the Nigeria Mobile Police led by officer Uwah and CSP Eloho invaded Best Western Hotel in Ikeja to send us out. They destroyed everything we have in it. Life was lost a few days later due to injuries sustained by victims. Their action cost us a lot, over 200 jobs were lost, our business goodwill was destroyed, our international partners ran away, over 500 contractors went into debts, and there were unending litigations against Suru Worldwide by guests.

 

“I was ‘tear-gassed’ and was rushed to the hospital on the day of the invasion. I spent 3 days at the hospital before I could open my eyes. It is obvious that AMCON under Ahmed Kuru was bent on destroying Suru WorldWide as he had done to many companies while the case was pending in court.

 

Speaking on his take from the Supreme Court ruling on AMCON’s possession of Suru WorldWide’s properties, Akinlade said that the apex court has shown courage and firmness in its judgement which means there won’t be room for Illegality as AMCON has no choice other than to obey the court order and the rule of law. Meanwhile, he advised President Bola Tinubu to probe the operations of AMCON since its inception, especially how it was run under its deposed and immediate past MD, Ahmed Kuru.

 

“It has taken us 7 years before we finally got vindicated by the Supreme Court. All AMCON MDs, past and present who run such illegality would be held accountable for this type of injustice in the long term.”

 

He said the Supreme Court ruling has no doubt set a precedent as companies which were unlawfully taken through similar “kangaroo acts” could now seek redress against AMCON in court.

 

While Suru World Wide awaits a signed Supreme Court injunction, Akinlade revealed what the company has put forward as claims for the costly damages AMCON has inflicted on his company.

 

He said “Pre-action notice damages claim has been filed for AMCON to pay a sum N28b for direct and indirect pain inflicted on the company, its directors and my persons and management team. Once a hard copy of the Supreme Court is handed over to us, our lawyer will take action to repossess our possession.”

 

He added by saying “AMCON fan light is out and they must obey court order and hand back all Suru properties and tiles documents in their possession. The Supreme Court is final, when the Supreme Court speaks, only Jehovah can overturn its decision.”

 

Akinlade expressed his dismay at the non-challant attitude of AMCON as he said he observed that renovation works were still in progress at the Best Western Hotel, despite the supreme court ruling on the said property.

 

He said “We are aware that work is still ongoing at the Best Western Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, having been destroyed. Now new design buildings have been added. Then I continue to ask; who is doing it? We don’t know! Has AMCON sold it while the case was pending in court? We don’t know! I visited the site after the Supreme Court judgement, left my card, no one cares and no call has been received by me so far.”

 

“Last night I spoke with the head of Mopol at AMCON officer Salisu on his phone line 080360935**. He confirmed that AMCON under Ahmed Kuru sold the hotel last year against the advice given by their lawyers not to. And also, whoever is the buyer must have failed to do full due diligence or maybe AMCON had offered them an undertaking to refund their money. We had already done the needful by registering caution on our title at the Lagos State Government Secretariat at Alausa, warning buyers of pending litigation.”

 

“In order to save the country from similar embarrassment from AMCON in the future, Akinlade advised President Tinubu to write off all the debt profiles with AMCON and shut the company down for it has done more harm than good.

 

He said “The government of the United States of America decided to write off all the loans with the students. The government gave a grant to Detroit, motor companies and they wrote it off. Banks in the UK were bailed out and their loans were written off. If they did not bailed them out then, unemployment in the US and in the UK would have skyrocketed. These are based economic policies. Government interventions and government grants are key. If you scrap AMCON today and you give grants to those who are owing loans, they would be relieved and be able to consider expanding their businesses. So let the government shut down AMCON and sell whatever that is left at a discount to the third party and move on. Nigeria will grow and Nigeria will be better."

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