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Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015

Housing scam: NLC, Kriston-Lally trade blames

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By A’isha Biola Raji with agency reports

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is now trading blames with the Kriston-Lally, the developers the congress went into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with in order to provide affordable houses for its workers.

Thousands of workers, considering the involvement of NLC had earlier subscribed to the scheme which was made public in an advertisement. They are however disappointed that NLC could be involved in an arrangement where helpless workers have been scammed.

According to reports, the hope of securing a place of abode became thin when the two principal actors began to accuse each other.

With subscribers becoming aggrieved following months of delay for construction to commence on the project, the General Secretary of NLC, Mr. Ozo-Eson said Kriston-Lally had kept pressuring for a bank guarantee to enable its financiers transfer the agreed funding for construction. For months, a request to Zenith Bank for the guarantee failed. A similar request to Access Bank was later approved.

To facilitate the issuance of the bank guarantee, Access Bank demanded adequate funding of the account. Consequently, the Congress was compelled to issue a cheque jointly signed by the two signatories to transfer N2.5billion from Zenith Bank to fund the Access Bank account.

Few weeks after the transfer, the NLC scribe said Access Bank contacted the NLC president Malam Abdulwaheed Omar’s office seeking confirmation to pay a cheque for N51million.

Alarmed, the NLC president, who was abroad then, promptly denied knowledge of any such transaction. He directed that the payment be withheld till he returned.

Back in Nigeria, Malam Omar sent for his co-signatory in Kriston Lally to accompany him to Access Bank to demand explanations for the pending cheque.

At the end, Mr. Ozo-Eson said it became clear that the developer was, indeed, behind the illegal attempt to withdraw N51 million from the account using a forged signature of the NLC President.

In spite of the agreement, Mr. Ozo-Eson said Mr. Madawaki, Kriston-Lally MD in whose custody were all instruments relating to the transaction, including the cheque books and details of all the dealings with the banks, failed to show up, stalling the entire refund process.

Meanwhile, Mr. Madawaki accused the NLC of failing to provide land for the project as it committed to doing.

According to Mr. Madawaki, despite failing to provide the land for the project as agreed, the NLC also frustrated his company’s efforts to pay for land in Karsana, Apo and Gosa areas of Abuja for the project.

 

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