Petroleum Dealer Engages Business Partner In Legal Battle


A Lagos businessman, Alhaji Safiriyu Adebanjo Kazeem, whose petroleum business has been in a state of coma due to the misunderstanding between him and his business partner, Mrs. Biodun Folashade Omotade, has slammed a N500 million suit on the woman and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Alhaji Safiriyu and his company, SAF Petroleum Nigeria Limited, are challenging the unlawful and unconstitutional infringement of their right.

In an affidavit disposed to by Alhaji Safiriyu and filed in the court by Barrister Segun Kumoluyi from the chambers of Idowu Sofola, the deponent averred that sometimes in August 200, while the relationship between him and Mrs. Biodun Omotade was cordial, she showed interest and offered to invest in his business of petroleum distribution.

Consequently, she invested N200 million with the option of converting same into a loan at 10 per cent interest per annum.

He accepted the offer.

Thereafter, Mrs. Omotade was alleged to be routinely receiving proceeds from the business until their relationship got awry in December 2009 and consequently, the woman decided to exercise her option of converting the investment to a loan and demanded immediate and full repayment of her money in the business, but she was made to realise that full payment of the money may necessitate the collapse of the whole business.

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As a result of this development, reconciliation meetings were held and in attendance were retired Commissioner of Police, Amusa Bello; Reverend Adeniji, Wale Adeniji, Lady Peller and One Mr. Mumini.

At the end of the meeting, the outstanding loan plus interest was put at N164,330,000.

Out of pressure, however, the plaintiff issued four postdated cheques, but surprisingly, on 11 February, 2010 his residence at Block 77, Plot 4, Bashiru Shittu Street, Magodo, was invaded by operatives of the EFCC, while he received another invitation from the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja and threatened with detention.

Alhaji Safiriyu averred further that despite showing good faith in settling the debts, his bank account were frozen while EFCC conducted a search of his house and ten different documents including Certificate of Occupancy of landed properties and his international passport were seized.

As a result of this, the plaintiff urged the court to order the respondent to pay him N500 million as damages and restrain the EFCC and its agents from unlawfully arresting him.

Justice Binta Murtala Nyako has adjourned till Friday for further hearing.

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