Chief Sunny Odogwu’s Estate Battles Access Bank in court over N50b Debt Claim
The Estate of Late The Ide Ahaba of Asaba, Chief Sonny Odogwu has faulted media reports on his N50 billion indebtedness to Access Bank, and the state of his Ikoyi, Lagos property being attached to a Federal High Court judgment dated November 3, 2015.
The report claimed that Access Bank, the plaintiff in the case, granted various credit facilities to the late Chief Odogwu’s companies, SIO Properties Ltd, and Robert Dyson&Diket Ltd for the construction of Luxury Hotels and Apartments. It further claimed that Chief Odogwu’s property located at No 31-35, Ikoyi Crescent, Ikoy, Lagos formed part of the judgment debt in suit No: FHC/L/CS/1633/14 before a Federal High Court, Lagos on which the court delivered its verdict in favour of Access Bank on November 3, 2015
However, lawyer to the late Chief Odogwu’s estate, Chief Anthony Idigbe SAN, in a statement stated that the Ikoyi property did not form part of the settlement agreement and addendum reached by all parties to the case, and which was filed as a consent judgment before the Federal High Court, Lagos on October 11, 2019.
Chief Idigbe stated: “Contrary to the publication but rather inline with the Consent Judgment in Suit FHC/L/CS/156/17 between Robert Dyson & Diket Limited & 2Ors v Diamond Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc) made on October 11,2019, we wish to clarify as follows;
The parties executed a Settlement Agreement and Addendum by which the parties agreed to debt for asset swap in full and final settlement of the dispute and indebtedness and the property located at 31-35 Ikoyi Crescent, Lagos and registered as Number 17 Page 17 in volume 100 Federal Land Registry, Ikoyi Lagos did not form part of the Settlement Agreement and the Addendum;
The parties in the referenced suits voluntarily with the involvement of their respective independent legal advisers, settled, relinquished and compromised any rights of the parties in the judgment delivered on November 3, 2015, in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1633/14 between Diamond Bank Plc v Robert Dyson & Diket Limited & Ors and having compromised the November 3, 2015 judgment agreed that the only available right to the parties would be the enforcement of the Settlement Agreement and Addendum;
The Settlement Agreement and Addendum upon execution by all the parties were filed at the Federal High Court Ikoyi Lagos and entered as a Consent Judgment in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/156/17 between Robert Dyson & Diket Limited & 2 Ors v Diamond Bank Plc(now Access Bank Plc) on October 11, 2019. The parties also voluntarily executed an unconditional stay of the judgment delivered on November 3, 2015, in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1633/14 between Diamond Bank Plc v Robert Dyson & Diket Limited & Ors;
The Estate of Late Chief Sonny Odogwu has performed their obligations as contained in the Consent Judgment, including withdrawing their strong appeal at the Court of Appeal (cfAppeal No: CA/L/1151/2015 between Robert Dyson & Diket Limited & 2 Ors v Diamond Bank Plc & 3 Ors) filed against the judgment in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1633/14 between Diamond Bank Plc Robert Dyson & Dike Limited 5 Ors delivered on November 3, 2015;
The family also provided the Bank with the assets under the asset swap arrangement and did all that was reasonably required of them for the Bank to realize the assets. Consequently, the Bank has received consideration from the sale of the assets contained in the Consent Judgment, including substantial sums in foreign currency;
The properties provided in the debt for asset swap as contained in the Consent Judgment Made on October 11 ,2019, are more than sufficient to satisfy the compromised settlement sum.
Therefore,it is pertinent to inform the public to disregard the unfounded and mischievous claim and publication under reference entirely. The publication contains untruths, misrepresentations, and deliberate unreasonable distortions of facts. Any reasonable investigation in public records would provide the actual state of affairs”.
The referenced report claimed that the bank had commenced the process of recovering the outstanding sums due to it from a total of over N50 billion judgment debt in its favour against the late Odogwu and his two firms.
The late Chief Odogwu was a man of great enterprise and talent during his lifetime. He created strong legacies in the insurance business in Nigeria, industrial relations, real estate and hospitality. He was also the publisher of the defunct Post Newspaper. A strong community leader, he created jobs, touched many lives.