Tuesday, March 8, 2016 11:44 am
By Akin Kuponiyi
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has adjourned till 15 April a suit instituted by Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) against its former Director General Nididi Okereke-Onyiuke and five others, to recover a building alleged to have been stolen.
The parties on the date will either report a settlement or hearing in the case will begin.
Others joined as co-defendants in the 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 the court by Lagos lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN,on behalf Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE,it was alleged that sometime in 2012 NSE carried out an audit of its landed properties and discovered that it could not locate the original copy of certificate of occupancy of one of his 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 Sunday which is 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 proprietary in a part of the NSE property situate,and known as 2 Temple Road,Ikoyi to the two companies.
Consequently an enquiry was set in motion.
Upon conducting a search on the 12th of March,2014 at the Federal Lands Registry,it was discovered that on the 20th of May,2007 Minister of land and housing and urban Development gave his consent to two 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 deed of assignment in favour of the aforementioned companies,nevertheless their identities did not appear on the said Deeds of Assignment.
It was discovered through 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.shares in the share capital of Hybrid Properties as a majority shareholder while Lance Elekama is the person listed as holding 600,000 shares in the share capital of Hybrid Properties,also as a majority shareholder
The suit said the Deeds of Assignment was fraudulently done by Ndidi Okereke -Onyuike and Lance Musa Elekama and irregularly consented to by minister of Lands,housing and urban Development. The deed was also 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 to the knowledge of Ndidi Okereke and Lance Elekama who are the majority shareholders of these two companies NSE paid N420 million as purchase price of the property.
When the matter was mentioned,the counsels representing various parties unanimously told the court that the parties are still exploring avenue of settling the matter out of court.
Consequently the presiding judge,J T Daggat adjourned till 15th of April,2016 for report of settlement.