Arguably the most decorated Nigerian footballer ever, Kanu Nwankwo has been dragged to court for a N1 billion suit after a business partnership went awful.
A businessman and a lawyer, Ayoola Gam-Ikon, has dragged Kanu Nwankwo to a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja. The man wants the court to order Kanu to pay him N1bn, for what he termed malicious prosecution by the police.
Gam-Ikon revealed that he was on March 5, 2013 arraigned on 19 counts of fraud by the police after Kanu made a complaint against him. Punch reports that Gam-Ikon has instituted a N1bn law suit against Kanu after the court struck out the entire charges against him on July 30, 2015 by the trial chief magistrate, following the legal advice of the Federal Director of Public Prosecutions, who absolved the claimant of the alleged offences.
He said the law suit he instituted against Kanu was for all the lost valuable time and years of his prime going to court and facing trial, urged the court to award damages to him against Kanu in the sum of N1bn.
The claimant urged the court to order Kanu to pay an interest of 22 per cent on the claimed sum from December 15, 2015 till the judgment day and 10 per cent interest on the claimed sum from judgment day till the claimed sum will be fully paid.
“The claimant was devastated by the effect of his arraignment, imprisonment at Ikoyi prison during the perfection of bail and pendency of a criminal charge and has been running from one hospital to the other for medical assistance owing to his debilitating ill health and has only just started showing signs of improvement,” Gam-Ikon claimed in his suit.
Trouble started after a business deal he entered with Kanu ended in disagreement. He claimed to have known Kanu while he was a banker with the Gulf Bank of Nigeria Plc, where he claimed Kanu had an account and he used to offer him financial management advice. After he quit his job, he entered a hotel business with Kanu. They later founded The Hardley Apartments Limited on April 22, 2004 on a shareholding agreement of 70 per cent to Kanu and 30 per cent to the claimant.
In the course of running the business they saw the need for expansion leading them to obtain a bank loan of N457m to raise the hotel to the five-star status. The repayment of the loan led to serious problem with him and Kanu which later ended up in his being arrested and prosecuted by the police.
The case, which was filed on Tuesday, has yet to be assigned to any judge.