Festus Odimegwu drags alleged lover to court over company ownership

By Ted Peters on 27/10/2017

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Festus Odimegwu
Festus Odimegwu

...He is my lover lady cries, he is misleading the court

The former Managing Director of Nigeria Breweries Ltd and immediate past Chairman, National Population Commission, Eze Festus Odimegwu, has dragged his alleged lover to court over company ownership and alleged misappropriation of company’s resources.

Odimegwu who claimed to have invested over 40 million Naira in the Abuja based fashion and designing company- Akuzie Kouture International Ltd, is fighting hard through legal process to take possession of the company’s documents and original Certificate of Incorporation.

He is accusing the young lady of criminal misappropriation, theft, criminal breach of trust, cheating, attempt to commit offences and holding on to the original documents of the company against their earlier agreement.

The legal tussle over the company ownership and control of resources was triggered by a petition to the Nigerian Police Force by Folorunsho Aweda & Associates on behalf of Eze Festus Odimegwu.

The said petition, reads in part; “…Mrs. Hauwa Ali, the legal practitioner engaged by our client to incorporate the company was done with the registration, and in line with the norm of our client, he instructed the lawyer to show to the young lady the original documents and certificate of the incorporated company and thereafter allow her append her signature acknowledging the collection of the photocopy while the original will be returned to our client by the lawyer.

“But in a rather change of event, the lady held onto the original certificate of the company, saying she desire to deliver the original to our client personally in order to show her appreciation which the lawyer does not have an objection to.

“The orchestrated criminal intent of the young lady started unfolding when our client instructed one of his staff, one Onyinye to retrieve the original certificate of the company from her but encountered a strong resistance from her.

“It is worthy of note, that the young lady deceived our client into believing they are entering into a mutually beneficial business relationship, but rather induces our unsuspecting client into making payments which our client willingly paid out of trust, but she dishonestly misappropriated and converted same to her personal use without our clients consent.

“Example of these is the official car given to her by our client, the showroom paid for by our client, the official apartment furnished and paid for by our client and the transfer of the outstanding balance of 23.4 million Naira forwarded to her account among other things.

The Inspector General of Police acting on the outcome of the police investigation of the petition, filed a direct criminal proceeding against the lady at the Senior District Court of FCT Abuja, in the Abuja Magisterial District holding in Abuja with Charge No. CR/23/017, our findings revealed.

This is coming after Odimegu had approached a High Court in Abuja and obtained an interim order freezing all the accounts of the lady.

In an affidavit in support of motion on notice, Sgt. Adangu Likita of Federal Special Anti-Robbery, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Area 3 Abuja, said, “I have the consent of the applicant to depose to this affidavit. On the 16th of May, 2017 a petition signed by one Oluwafemi O Aweda Esq. dated the 13th day of May 2017 for and on behalf of one Eze Festus Odimegwu was received.

“…Efforts were made initially to reach the lone suspect in this case without success. Further investigation revealed that this case was originally reported at the Maitama police station by the nominal complainant and while the company’s registered office was put on padlock and the defendant went there to break same.

“Even when the defendant was granted bail she never honoured any further appointments with the police ever. Eventually she surfaced and was charged, cautioned and she volunteered her statement based on allegation against her, thereafter she was granted bail.

“After the defendant was granted bail, she was subsequently invited for interview but refused to honour same, neither did the surety honour our invitation to produce the respondent till date.”

However, in a counter affidavit in opposition to the motion on notice by the complainant, the defendant dismissed most of the claims in the motion as outright falsehood, insisting that Odimegwu was her lover.

“I have read the affidavit in support of the motion and states, most of the depositions therein are not true but outright falsehood. My invitation on two occasions by the Maitama police station was sometimes in March 2017 and predates the petition written against me.

“I honoured the said invitations which was at the instance of one Festus Odimegwu whom I had a relationship with and was using his lawyer one Hauwa Ajanigo Ocheni to lay complaints against me at the police station.

“We had in fulfillment of our desire to get married, registered and undertaken various medical examinations and all that was left was the nominal complainant’s sperm to be taken and frozen. The medical results of the investigation are hereby attached and marked as exhibit A.”

However, contrary to the claim in Odimegwu’s petition that his lawyer took the certificate of incorporation to the lady for her to append her signature and thereafter return the original and keep the signed photocopy, the lady said the certificate of incorporation was sent to her office via courier service.

According to her affidavit, “In the course of my relationship with Festus Odimegwu, we agreed to form a company Akuzie Kouture International Ltd. Which we each holds 50% shares and I personally paid the solicitor the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) for the registration, and the certificates and other accompanying documents were sent to me by courier by the solicitor. Copies of the incorporation documents, certificate and the debits from my Diamond and GT Bank accounts are hereby attached and marked as exhibits E.”

She insisted that there is no iota of any criminal case between her and the nominal complainant, arguing that ‘relationship leading to marriage is not a crime known to me or any culture and civilization in Nigeria.”

On the claim of giving her official car by the complainant, she stated thus in her affidavit. “The nominal complainant gave me a Toyota Yaris car when I was a staff of his company but upon the termination of my appointment, I returned the car sometimes in January, 2015 and same car was given to me when the relationship between me and Mr. Festus Odimegwu blossomed again requiring repair of N780, 459.75 from Elizade motors and nominal complainant directed me to repair and cost will be refunded to me.” The refund was never made, she said.

Further findings also revealed that she was also remanded in prison custody for days in Keffi, before her lawyer was able to procure her bail in the process of this legal battle.

The petition according to our investigation lead to an  ex parte order freezing her accounts and sealing her home and business premises since April, 2017.

“The nominal complainant Festus Odimegwu instituted a civil suit, CV/1310/2017 against me pending in High Court No 32 in Jabi Abuja on same issue which has granted an interim order freezing all my accounts in Diamond and GT Bank.

She lamented Odimegwu’s insincerity in misleading the court to deny her,  her source of income, saying “The conduct of the complainant by misleading the honourable court to seal my business premises is negatively affecting me as same is my only source of livelihood which has been under lock and key on the order of the court.”

The case resumes at the Abuja Magistrates  Court on the 16th of November, 2017.

Meanwhile Justice Halilu of Court 32, Jabi High Court on Thursday 26th October, 2017 struck out the suit and set aside the exparte order freezing the accounts of the defendant for lack of locus standi.

Posted 27/10/2017 04:41:54 AM

 

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