Former Super Eagles captain, Nwankwo Kanu, has raised an alarm that he is on the verge of losing his prized asset, Hardly Apartment, a hotel situated in Lagos to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, under unclear circumstances.
Papilo, as the former Arsenal of London and Inter Milan of Italy striker said his heart bleeds over the ordeal he is currently passing through since November 2015 when Hardley Apartment was put under the management of AMCON following an alleged indebtedness which he said is now a subject of litigation.
Kanu said that the case is still ongoing in a Federal High Court, Lagos, and is billed for hearing next month.
“It is now common knowledge that Hardley Apartment, which is a going concern in the hospitality industry was put under the temporary possession of AMCON since November 2015 by an exparte order of court on account of a purported indebtedness but which remains unproven till date,” KANU said in a statement which he personally signed and made available to newsmen.
“The matter remains pending and is slated for further hearing on the 14th day of February, 2018.
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“On account of the pendency of the said matter, and in deference to the need to allow justice take its natural course, I remain constrained as to the extent to which I may wish to delve into the facts and details at this point in time.
“But suffice it to say however, that the protracted/stalled nature of proceedings has been engendered wholly by AMCON’s refusal/inability to obey the specific order of court to provide the full statements of accounts, by which they came to the position of the purported indebtedness”.
He noted that the property was a product of his sweat as a footballer who had represented the country in various international competitions where he won several laurels for the nation.
He pointed out that even in the face of his current ordeal, he remains a patriotic citizen who believes in the sanctity and rule of law.
“While I remain resolute in my decision to respect the sanctity of our law courts, I am however constrained to issue this statement to call on well-meaning Nigerians and all men/women of good conscience around the globe to prevail on AMCON to do same.
“This has become necessary in the light of some bizarre actions embarked upon by AMCON in vandalising/stripping the assets, under the guise of renovations, but ostensibly with a clandestine design to brazenly sell or hand it over to a third party under secret terms and thus complicate/further stall this matter.
“As I issue this statement, my heart bleeds and profusely too. My heart bleeds for several reasons. My heart bleeds, not just because my priced possession which emerged out of my blood and sweat as a career footballer is at the risk of being taken away from me under the weight of an intractable/belligerent government apparatus unjustifiably, but also because of the imminent defeat of the major objective for its establishment.
“This essentially borders on the well-known fact of my travails in the hands of heart challenges when I had to undergo a number of surgeries for my ailing heart condition at that time. God in his infinite mercy spared my life, ostensibly by equipping me financially ahead of tribulations through my early career successes”.
“Emerging from the throes of death under those circumstances informed me under sober reflections that God had an assignment for me. I was able to identify it. It dawned on me that God desired to use me/my resources as a vessel to save more lives which may come under threat under similar situations.
“That significantly marked the birth of KANU HEART FOUNDATION through which I saddled myself with the responsibility of providing the needed financial assistance to those afflicted by heart diseases. The funding came at that time, from my direct earnings as a footballer.
“However, realising that whatever had a beginning must have an end, I also knew that sustainability of the programme would be a challenge once I retired from active footballing.
“This realisation midwifed the birth of HARDLEY APARTMENTS as a going concern in hotelling and general hospitality. With the establishment of Hardley Apartments, funding the foundation was assured, and the success attained in saving lives while it was in operation is a testament.
“Through the Kanu Heart Foundation, almost 500 persons including children and adults have gone through successful heart surgeries, with funds essentially coming from the Hardley Apartment.
“Today, the story is that of lamentations.
Today, Hardley Apartments is itself in jeopardy in the most uncertain/bizarre circumstances.
Today, Kanu Heart Foundation is once again threatened as I have since retired, and my career earnings have come to an end.
“However, I must say, that on account of my faith in God and my confidence in our judicial system, I refuse to fear. My head may be bloodied, but it remains unbowed.
“I came to this world through a modest home and God blessed me richly.
I remain committed to God’s assignment to save lives and I shall never waver in my determination to please Him.
“In spite of the unwholesome actions of AMCON, I remain steadfast in my resolve to patiently and fully participate in the tortuous judicial process and accept the final outcome with dignity.
“I also hereby personally call on the management of AMCON not to act in frenzy, but to be fully guided in their actions by conscience and the rule of law as against rule by mighty,” the UNICEF and Nigeria Football Federation Ambassador concluded.