A debt recovery process was last week initiated by Access Bank against the late Chief Sunny Odogwu and two of his companies. The bank was given the approval of the court to recover over N50 billion from the late Chief and two of his enterprises; Robert Dyson & Diket Limited and SIO Property Limited.
This comes after the beneficiaries to the late Chief Odogwu estate attempted to dissipate and sell off properties including those granted by court order to Access Bank to be sold for debt recovery.
In November 2015, the Federal High Court found the late Chief and his companies guilty of a breach of Bank-Customer Relationship and therefore ordered the sale of the Property used as collateral for the loan.
The sum of N26,229,943,035.22 was used in the financing of the Le Meridien Grand Towers, known as Luxury Collection Hotels and Apartments located at 31 -35 Ikoyi Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
However, taking into consideration the 20 per cent interest on the facility since the judgement was passed, the total debt has now reached over N50 billion.
The said property owned by SIO Property Limited of which the late Odogwu was the majority shareholder, was financed with a loan from the then Diamond Bank, which is now Access Bank.
Following the judgement, the court further prohibited the Chief from disposing of, selling or alienating any of his assets, money, shares, stock and any of his negotiable instruments until the sum of N26 billion owed to the bank is fully paid.
This ruling was appealed at the Court of Appeal, however, while the case was pending, Chief Odogwu Sonny died. After the death of the Chief, the beneficiaries to his estate initiated the sale of many of his properties and assets including the Le Meridien Grand Towers which the court had ordered to be sold by Access Bank.
According to reports, the bank as the beneficial owner under the Judgment has taken steps to sell the property situated at 31-35 Ikoyi Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos to a new owner. However, this move has been met with an unwelcoming response from the beneficiaries of the estate of the late Odogwu and other unknown persons who are said to have promised to disrupt any attempt to take over the property.
The bank is however determined to recover the judgement debt from the defendants (Odogwu, Robert Dyson & Diket Limited and SIO Property Limited) and enforce the judgment of the Federal High Court.