By Frank Oshanugor
 
A Lagos-based Company, Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigerian Limited is now on war path with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over what the company has described as forceful takeover of its multi-billion naira Lagos-based property.
 
SECURITY REPORTER.com gathered that the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc had facilitated a  loan procurement amounting to billions of naira on behalf of Suru Worldwide Ventures Limited.
 
In a statement at the weekend, the company has however warned any persons or their agents to steer clear of its properties or face the wrath of the law.
 
In its effort to regain the control of its business and operations, the company has petitioned the National Assembly for its intervention, following a business deal that went awry in over a decade.
 
Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited has its pies in hotel industry, landed properties, but had been battling the defunct Oceanic Bank and its successor, Access Bank Plc  and AMCON, seeking their faces to remain in business. 
 
The firm owns, Best Western Hotel,  Ikeja Lagos, Opebi Hotel  projects,  Ikeja, Government Reservation Area( GRA) Land, Lagos State and Ikeja GRA  Town Houses.
 
The company has therefore issued stern warning to any persons, group or their agents to steer clear of its properties, as any erring persons will face litigations. 
 
With initial staff strength of over 2000 Nigerians, Suru Ventures later became a victim of poor economic environment as it witnessed  a downturn resulting in staff  rationalization that left only 250 employees, following its loan repayment challenges with the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc. 
 
The Lagos based firm, while appealing to its creditor Bank (Occenic now EcoBank) to look into its loan repayment effort, said in its letter to AMCON,  entitled: “Re: The Matter of Loan account of Suru  Worldwide  Nigeria  Ventures Limited  with Oceanic  Bank International Plc, we write in respect  of Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited loan accounts with Oceanic Bank International Plc which we understand  has  been sold  to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON ) as a non- performing loan.
 
“The relationship between the bank and the company, commenced in August 2017, with the bank issuing a total  of N10.204 billion  loan facilities to the company from a  total of approved loan facilities of N13bn from the said period till date.
 
According to the Managing Director of Suru Worldwide ventures Nigeria Limited,  Edward Akinlade and Company Secretary; Ayodeji Adewunmi, in a joint statement to AMCON,  “the classification of the loan accounts with bank as non-performing, is considered objectionable by the Company, as the said classification is due to no omission or negligence  on our part, but owed to the bank’s  breach of its agreement  by the disbursement of funds on the facility as agreed and stalling the various projects which were mostly 95 percent completed  as at August 14,2019.
 
“Considering this position and the desire of AMCON  to see genuine business flourish,  we hereby  appeal for the below stated measures aimed at protecting the interests of all parties.”
 
In a frantic but desired effort to remain in business, the firm had petitioned  the National Assembly’s ‘Committee on Public Petitions’ over the illegal seizure of Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited by  AMCON asking it  among others,  to wade into the matter. 
According to the Company,  in a petition to the  Honourable Speaker,  Federal House of Representatives, Hon  Femi  Gbajabiamila,  dated  August 1, 2019, it stated  among other requests that , “AMCON  is acting upon an illegally  and fraudulently obtained order of the Federal High Court in Suit No: ‘FHC/ LCS/1059/ 2016 on 30/5/ 17 (without joining the owner of the property nor serving them), invaded their premises, at Allen Avenue, a five- Star Hotel, chasing away lodgers,  including foreign tourists and diplomats. 
 
However, despite efforts made by Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited for the peaceful resolution of the matter in the overall  interest of Nigeria,  the company regretted  that  it was miffed by  a letter  from a Solicitor acting on behalf of Infrastructural Development  and Energy company Limited (IDECO), saying, “We write to inform you that having purchased the property at No: 12 Reverend Ogunbiyi Street, GRA, Ikeja (Property) from  Asset  Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), our client is your new landlord. Pursuant to this, our client has instructed us to inform you that it wishes to set up a meeting with you  so as to ascertain the status of your tenancy.”
 
Meanwhile, Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited, through its Lawyer ,Layi Babatunde (SAN), is praying that by a letter, dated  September 2,2020 , that ‘our client’s property, situated, lying at No:12 Reverend Ogunbiyi street, GRA,Ikeja Lagos State ( hereinafter called “the Property) subject matter of suit No: FHC/L/CS/1059/2016 ,now on appeal to the Supreme Court under Appeals No: SC/1098/2019 (at the instance of  AMCON,  however did not disclose in the said letter,  to whom the property was purportedly sold and for what amounts it was sold,  thereby leaving those vital issues and information to conjecture. The situation no doubt, speaks about this purported sale transaction.”
 
He said; “We have since drawn the attention of AMCON to the subsisting judgment in Appeals No: CA/L/86/18 SURU WORLDWIDE VENTURES NIGERIA LIMITED & ANOR v AMCON & ORS. Wherein  the court  of Appeals Lagos Division allowed our client Appeals and set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court of Nigeria rendered in  AMCON’s  favour  in suit No:  FHC/L/CS/450/11 BETWEEN  SURU WORLDWIDE VENTURE NIGERIA LIMITED V ECO Bank Plc & AMCON wherein the Honorable court dismissed AMCON’s counter Claims for alleged indebtedness  of our client to  AMCON,  AMCON has appealed  the judgment to the court of Appeals No: CA/L/630/ 18 which appeal is still pending. 
 
“Furthermore, in suit No: ‘’FHC / L/CS/218/2014 BETWEEN; AMCON  V SURU WORLDWIDE VENTURE NIGERIA LIMITED”, the Honourable court also dismissed AMCON’s claims for the same alleged indebtedness of our clients.
 
“It is therefore baffling, that despite this state of affairs, AMCON could bring itself to act in such flagrant breach of the law,  disregard for subsisting judgment and utter contempt of pending proceeding . AMCON ‘s conduct , no doubt , constitutes a frontal affront to due process  which cannot be ignored. 
 
“It is most regrettable, that AMCON  being a product of Legislation and therefore law, will act in a way totally at variance with the rule of law and good corporate citizenship,  suggesting that they are not believed in their own pending appeal not due process.”

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