A lawyer, Mr. Aloysius Ezenduka, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IG) Kayode Egbetokun to investigate his senior colleague, Emmanuel Oyebanji, SAN, over alleged sale of his clients assets worth N20 billion.
Ezenduka, in a petition dated January 7, noted that Oyebanji, who was appointed as Receiver/Manager by CSL Trustees Limited on behalf of First City Monument Bank(FCMB) following a N350 million loan dispute.
According to Ezenduka, the Receiver Manager allegedly converted, and sold the assets belonging to Chief Anthony Obidulu and his company- Algrain Foods Limited- located at 15/17, Canal Avenue, Canal Estate, Okota, Lagos.
Ezenduka said the actions of the SAN and FCMB were reprehensible as four court cases- two at the Appeal Court in Lagos (CA/L/CV/1021/2021 and CA/L/CV/1024/2021) and two at the High Court of Lagos State- were pending and trial ongoing.
He said the cases at the High Court of Lagos State were instituted by Chief Obidulu against Oyebanji, his law firm and FCMB Plc., for trespassing over his property, alleging that despite the pendency of the suits, the defendants were discretely stealing and selling all the assets comprising of vehicles, heavy machineries and goods kept in the warehouse worth billions of naira.
The petitioner accused the defendant of acting on “a purported judgment on appeal that claimed that FCMB was owed N350 million, which an audit report had shown that the company was not indebted to the bank or anyone.”
But Oyebanji dismissed the allegations as fallacious and a deliberate attempt at misrepresentation of facts, noting that the sale of the properties was backed by court judgments.
He chronicled the timeline of occurrences, insisting that at the time the declaratory judgment which gave him and the bank the power to sell the company’s assets was enforced, the petitioner neither filed notice of appeal nor stay of execution.
“It is total fallacy and complete misinformation that the receiver has been stealing the assets of All Grain food, but rather the assets were legally disposed of by virtue of the judgement.
“There is no judgment or order from the court of appeal reversing the judgment of the Federal High Court,” the Learned Silk stated.
In the petition to the IG, Ezenduka explained that the Court of Appeal on 10 October, 2023, allowed him to bring in documents that showed that the purported loan in respect of which Oyebanji and FCMB procured Court Order was indeed a Federal Government Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS) which was Guaranteed 80% by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and was never redeemed by the bank before procuring court order with “fraudulent documents”.
He urged the police chief to: “Investigate these acts of forgery, alteration, procurement and concealment of documents for the purpose of obtaining an order of court illegally; conversion, stealing, selling of goods belonging to Chief Obidulu and Algrain Foods Limited by Emmanuel Adeyeye Oyebanji, SAN, and FCMB.
“Investigate the refusal of Oyebanji, SAN, to render an account of the purported receivership to the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Board of Directors of Algrain Foods Limited as required by law.
“Investigate the purported sales, conversion and diversion of proceeds of the purported sales of the assets by Emmanuel Adeyeye Oyebanji and the Managing Director of FCMB Plc. Recover all the assets stolen and or purportedly sold by Oyebanji and FCMB Plc. into a safe custody pending when the rights of the parties are determined by the courts. “Prosecute the duo if upon completion of the investigation a prima face case is established against them and Investigate the Mobile Policemen Oyebanji and FCMB procured and aided them in the evacuation of properties at odd hours of 1am to 3am since December last year when the Court of Appeal gave a ruling in favour of Chief Obidulu and his company in Appeal No. CA/L/CV/1021/2021.”
Reacting to the petition, the SAN explained that Algrain Food Ltd was a customer of FCMB and FBN, adding that FCMB Trustee was appointed for the two banks.
He said the account of Algrain food became toxic in 2016 and the two banks appointed him as the receiver of all assets debenture as duly registered with CAC Abuja.
The SAN said as the receiver, he obtained a protective interim order of possession in 2017 from the Federal High Court, Lagos, while the company filed a suit against him and the bank in 2020 claiming among others that the receiver committed trespass and that the court should appoint independent auditors.
He said they also claimed the sum of N20B against the bank, adding that the case was dismissed on October 24, 2021 as an abuse of court process.
“On the 4th of November 2021, the Federal High court delivered judgment in the receivership case in favor of the bank and the receiver. The court granted the receiver power to sell the assets of the Algrain Foods:
“The Court granted the receiver power to continue in possession: The court granted a perpetual injunction against Algrain Food and its directors:
“The judgement was a declaratory judgment and there was no appeal; no stay of execution filed by counsel to Algrain Food until 9th of November, 2021:
“On the 7th November 2021 in accordance with the judgement of the court authorizing Sale, the Receiver exercised the Power of Sale. There was no notice of appeal and or stay of execution as at 7th November 2021 filed by defendant Algrain Food.
“The Judgement was declaratory which took effect from the date of delivery on the 4th November 2021: Mr Alloysious Ezenduka counsel to Algrain Food failed, neglected and or deliberately refused to file its notice of appeal and stay of execution before the exercise of the power of sale as ordered by the Federal High Court.
“Algrain food has filed an appeal to the court of appeal dated 9th November 2021 and the matter is currently pending at the appeal court.”
Moreover, FCMB’s group head of communication and branding, Mr. Diran Olojo, denied any looting by the bank, saying, “t is not possible for a serious organisation like FCMB to loot a company. There is a receiver-manager who is backed up by the law to recover debt. The debt recovery does not concern FCMB. Besides, everything that the receiver-manager is doing is backed by the law.

“The case is in the courts. Let the complainant wait for the decision of the court. FCMB is a serious organisation and would not be involved in petty things.”

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