Billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, is enmeshed in a N54m scandal which has already landed him at the Lagos High Court. Court papers at the disposal of YES International! magazine indicate that Otedola, son of former Lagos State governor, Sir Michael Otedola and chairman of Zenon Oil as well as Forte Oil rented out a property belonging to another billionaire mogul, Chief Bode Akindele to Dr. Anthony Solomon, MD, Pharmacare Ltd, without following due process. The property in question is situated on 268C, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Solomon, according to the court papers, is alleging that Otedola got him to part with N54 million to sublet the property to him under the pretence that he was the actual owner of the house and also under the guise that Akindele was in the know of the arrangement. The story, however, changed sometime in July 2011 when he uncovered that Akindele was not in the know of the sublease: “Sometime in July 2011, the claimant (Dr. Solomon) discovered that the 1st defendant (Zenon Oil) did not remit the bank drafts to the 2nd defendant (Madandola) nineteen (19) months after the bank drafts were issued to the 1st defendant for remittance to the 2nd defendant. The claimant subsequently discovered that the 1st defendant remitted only the sum of N8,000,000.00 (Eight million naira) to the 2nd defendant and fraudulently withheld the remaining sums without remitting same to the 2nd defendant as rent for the property having collected the sum of N54,000,000.00 (Fifty four million naira) from the claimant”. Solomon disclosed all that and more in his statement of claim filed before the court by his lawyer, Anthony Onwaeze of Doyin Rhodes-Vivour and Co chambers. Consequently, he’s asking for, among other things, that the High Court of Lagos mandates Otedola to restitute him for “General Damages against the 1st defendant (Zenoil Oil) in the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira) for breach of contract; interest on the sum of N24,000,000.00 (Twenty four million naira) paid to the 1st defendant which funds were withheld by the 1st defendant for nineteen (19) months at the rate of 21% per annum being loss of interest that would have accrued on the funds…” Backing up his claims with a litany of receipts used for the payment as well as photographs of renovation work done on the property, the case, with Suit No. LD/491/2009, will sure take a better shape in the days ahead.

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