How property mogul Awosedo ran into trouble with AMCON

Newly appointed board member of Abuja National Hospital and former Ogun state gubernatorial candidate Otunba Olajide Awosedo is in the eye of the storm. As things are ravaging various media outlets, the Ijebu businessman has chewed more than he could swallow.
As the story goes, perhaps no housing project in Lagos State and possibly in the entire country has generated so much controversy and attracted as much media attention in recent times as the Victory Park Estate.
The man who conceived the project, Chief Olajide Awosedo is at the centre of this controversy.
The controversy was sparked off with Chief Olajide Awosedo’s widely published allegation that Sterling Bank Plc cheated his company, Grant Properties Limited (GPL) by fraudulently selling 10 hectares out of the 50 hectares of land meant for the Victory Park Housing Project to one Mr. Yemi Idowu who was a non-executive director of the bank. Chief Olajide Awosedo believes that the sale of the 10 hectares caused or contributed significantly to his company’s failure to repay the N8 billion credit facility with which land was acquired for the project and its consequent takeover by creditors, particularly the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The frequency and fervency with which Chief Olajide Awosedo’s allegation has been published in several news media warrants a thorough investigation to get to the root of the matter, a task which, we the Concerned Citizens’ Network have undertaken upon ourselves as our own contribution to the fight against corruption. Discreet but extensive investigation of the matter reveals that Chief Olajide Awosedo’s allegations are false, unfounded and misleading.
It was learnt from findings that:
• The entire Victory Park Estate comprising land and building is owned by a company called Knight Rook Limited which was allotted in 2003 the 50 hectares of land upon which Victory Park Estate was to be built and Grant Properties Limited and Chief Awosedo were previously shareholders of Knight Rook Limited. However, Knight Rook Limited was unable to pay for the land and the Lagos State Government demanded for a bank guarantee to cover the purpose price of the land. Grant Properties Limited, being one the promoters and shareholders of Knight Hook approached a consortium of four (4) banks- Skye, Wema, Unity and Sterling- for a Bank Guarantee in the sum of N8 billion.
• Grant Properties Limited failed to pay Lagos State on due date and upon demand for payment and the Lagos State Government consequently claimed its money from the banks and the banks paid for the property. In settlement of the debt, Grant Properties Limited and Chief Olajide Awosedo transferred all their shares in Knight Rook to the 4 banks in proportion of their debt holdings. Chief Awosedo resigned as director in Knight Rook, the Banks became owners of Knight Hook and Sterling Bank was nominated as and became the lead bank acting on behalf of the other banks. The Knight Hook’s Secretariat/head office was relocated and domiciled at the head office of Sterling Bank and its company secretary worked at/from Sterling Bank head office.
• The value of Land was much less than the debt. Consequently, the Banks stopped charging interest on the facility used to pay for the land and treated it as investment asset of the banks The Banks employed Chief Olajide Awosedo to act as developer by an MOU. The Banks paid the salaries of Chief Awosedo and his staff for years during this period. The Banks funded development of 90 flats in Phase 1 to help reduce the debt. A Phase 2 was also planned.
• At the end of Phase 1, the development costs plus interest was not recovered. The Banks later discovered that Awosedo converted 9 flats out of 90 flats to his personal use. The Banks were disappointed and unwilling to continue dealing with him. Consequently, the Banks discontinued paying Awosedo as developer and appointed other consultants.
• A member of the consortium of banks, Skye Bank was also being owed money by Awosedo and Grant Properties Limited at that material time. Chief Awosedo and his companies also owed many other banks including First Bank, Intercontinental and Access Bank at that time. As a result, Skye Bank decided to sell its own share of the Knight Rook/Grant Properties/Awosedo debt to AMCON and all the other banks- Unity, Sterling and Wema bank followed suit, resulting in the entire debt being sold to AMCON. The sale of the debt by the respective banks was completed in January 2012 when AMCON issued a certificate to the lead bank, Sterling bank.
• In order to transfer the Knight Rook/Grant Properties/Awosedo debt to AMCON, the banks had to settle all Phase 2 depositors/subscribers of Victory Park Estate and third party claims on Knight Rook. Chief Awosedo was aware that 10 hectares of land was for sale to pay debts and in fact promoted the sale of the 10 hectares. The new owners of Knight Rook- the banks- also availed Chief Awosedo the opportunity to find buyers for the 10 Hectares who will be able to pay the N2.5 billion purchase price but Chief Awosedo actively sought for buyers for many months and failed.
• A new buyer introduced by WEMA bank paid for the 10 Hectares and the sale was consummated before the debt was sold to AMCON. Even after AMCON took over, Chief Awosedo unlawfully/fraudulently sold several plots out of the 10 hectares of land. The new buyer sold to third parties who have now developed the 10 hectares into homes/residences now occupied by 300 families.
• Chief Olajide Awosedo and his company, Grant Properties Limited thus have no legal right whatsoever to Victory Park Estate. This fact was confirmed by a 3rd October 2017 judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/744/17 – AMCON V. KNIGHT ROOK LIMITED & ORS, where Hon. Justice Buba entered judgment in favour of AMCON against Knight Rook Limited & 5 Ors. in the sum of N12, 566,910,191.00 plus interest. Chief Olajide Awosedo and Grant Properties Limited were Defendants in this suit and are bound by this judgment.
The members of the general public are therefore advised to disregard the false and misleading publications, allegations and reports obviously sponsored by Chief Olajide Awosedo, who our investigations reveal is a chronic and unrepentant debtor. We have it on good authority that Chief Olajide Awosedo is head over heels in debt, so indebted that his country home, a palatial mansion in Ijebu, Ogun State, has also been taken over by AMCON over a N4.68 billion debt. According AMCON, Chief Olajide Awosedo is indebted to over nine (9) banks to the tune of N22 billion. Chief Olajide Awosedo’s other company – Havilah Villas Limited- is also indebted to Heritage Bank and Access Bank. Chief Awosedo is also reported to be indebted to First Bank Plc in the sum of N2 billion plus interest arising from a development called Goshen Beach Estate. Other banks Chief Awosedo is indebted to include Sterling Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, Access Bank, Skye Bank FCMB, Diamond Bank, United Mortgage Bank and Providus Bank and they are all trying to recover their monies from him.
Nigerians are therefore advised against swallowing hook, line and sinker the ranting of an embittered man who lives a lavish and extravagant lifestyle with borrowed money. Chief Awosedo’s alleged penchant for reckless and irresponsible use of borrowed funds has been confirmed by recent revelations of his use of monies given to him as loan by several financial institutions to finance three successive (but unsuccessful) runs for Office of Governor of Ogun State. Surely such a man deserves no sympathy or respect.
All attempts to seek the view of Awosedo proved abortive.

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