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‘N22bn scam’: Court bars banks from releasing funds to Imagine Global founders

‘N22bn scam’: Court bars banks from releasing funds to Imagine Global founders
October 28
11:54 2021

The Lagos state high court in sitting at Osborne, Ikoyi, has restrained about 21 commercial banks in Nigeria from releasing funds to Imagine Global Holding Company Limited, Imagine Global Solutions Limited and its owners, Bamise and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, over an alleged N22 billion scam.

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The banks are Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, Citi Bank Nigeria, Ecobank Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Globus Bank, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank, Providus Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, United Bank For Africa, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and Zenith Bank.

Ruling on an ex parte application in suit no: LD/579CM/2021, filed by aggrieved investors of the company through their counsel, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi, the court granted a Mareva injunction restraining the defendants from accessing funds up to N11,795,090,000 in their accounts pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

According to the motion, the N11,795,090,000 was the outstanding investments and returns accruing to the claimants/applicants from the defendants.

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Abdullahi Oyekan-Abdullai, the judge, while granting the application on October 24, also restrained the defendants, in the interim, from dealing with any and all of the monies standing to their credit in any accounts in the banks up to the amount.

It further restrained the defendants from selling, transferring, assigning and/or dealing with the following properties: Apartment 7, Oakwood Residences, 23, Cooper Street, Ikoyi, Lagos and B4, Gate 3, Lafiaji Road, Victoria Crescent Estate, Olugborogon, Chevron, Lekki, Lagos or any other properties of the 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th Defendants that can be traced and located by Claimants/ Applicants during the pendency of the suit.

The judge directed the banks to file and serve on the claimants/applicants’ counsel within seven days of service of the order on them, an affidavit disclosing the balance on the defendants’ accounts.

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The court also directed the applicants to file an undertaking as to damage in case the order ought not to have been made.

The matter was adjourned till November 3.

According to a statement on its website, Imagine Global Solutions Limited (Imagine Lenders) claimed that it is licensed and duly registered to operate as a microfinance institution in Nigeria — a claim TheCable found to be misleading as the company was not listed among licenced microfinance institutions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The company said it operated for four years with coverage in 19 of the 36 states in Nigeria with 90,000 customers — offering loan disbursement between 10,000 and 100,000 for a 30 – 40 day cycle.

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Reports and social media posts alleged that the Ajetumobi’s fled with billions of naira belonging to their investors.

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to reflect the exact court.

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