Retired football legend, Nwankwo Kanu, has cried out over an illegal takeover of his hotel, Hardley’s Apartment, located in Victoria Island Lagos over an alleged unpaid bank loan.
The 42-year-old said that his hotel has been illegally occupied by some unauthorized persons who had also commenced renovation of the facility in disregard of the seal order and litigation, forcing him to arrive in Nigeria over the weekend to verify the claims.
He further said all the medals he has earned, in addition to the Olympic torch that he cherished are all gone and there is no one to direct his questions to.
Speaking with journalists a very teary Kanu counted his loss, he said;
“It was a rude shock to me,” Kanu, who fought back tears at what the hitherto sprawling facility had become since the renovation started, told TheCable.
“I almost couldn’t recognise the hotel as belonging to me anymore. This is the saddest day of my life as I cannot understand why this happen to me when the matter has yet to be settled in court.
“All the medals I have earned, in addition to the Olympic torch that I cherished are all gone and I don’t even know who to ask for all these prized assets.”
“This is unacceptable in all ramifications. I have not been served any notice that I have lost this property and until I am served the notice, it remains my legal property,” the former Super Eagles’ captain said.
“Even cars and buses belonging to the hotel can no longer be found and I wonder where they could have been moved to without my knowledge,” Kanu further said, even as he lamented how the four-year seal of the facility had adversely affected treatment for numerous patients that his Kanu Heart Foundation planned to rescue from their ailment.
“We have used proceeds from the hotel business to effect treatment for the patients over the years and now we are being forced to seek funds elsewhere, a situation that has stalled the treatment considerably especially since 2016.”
An emotion-filled Kanu submitted: “During my service to this country in football up to year 2000, I made many Nigerians happy. I don’t think I deserve this sadness in retirement.”
The hotel has been sealed up since 2015 sequel to an alleged default in transaction between it and Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank), leading to series of litigation that is still pending at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. The last hearing came up in November last year after which the case was adjourned till 31 January 2019.
According to multiple reports, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), is responsible for Kanu’s woes and may have disregarded the court proceedings by taking over the property.