Labour congress, Kriston Lally trade words over failed housing scheme

THE struggle over where the secretariat of the refunding process of 10% subscription fee to the failed Kriston-Lally/Nigeria Labour Congress mass housing scheme should be located is delaying refunding to subscribers. 

Before the crises rocking the scheme began, the refunding procedure was domiciled in the Kriston-Lally office and superintended over by the management of the building construction firm. 

      Reacting to the delay, the Managing Director of Kriston-Lally, Mustapha Madawaki said the firm has openly demonstrated its readiness to refund subscribers from day one by putting in place a unit in its office, charged with the responsibility of refunding money to those who may wish to be refunded. 

He added that the firm had refunded over 50 subscribers within the year prior to the crises. 

     He alleged that the insistence of the NLC to relocate the refunding secretariat to Labour House was contrived to migrate subscriber to a new platform.

     He explained: “Suddenly, NLC is insisting that the refund unit should be moved to their secretariat.  why? Simple, if subscribers are issued their cheques from our offices, they may head straight to their Banks and the new platform sponsored by      NLC leadership will certainly fail. Therefore, they feel they must control these funds and the subscribers in order to migrate them to their arranged but illegal platform. This platform, apart from lacking in legitimacy, also lacks the resources to carry out this project.”

      Madawaki further stated that an understanding was reached to proceed with refunding process only for the NLC to turn around to then insist that it wants the whole money transferred to either NLC account or the new platform, which both DSS and Kriston Lally rejected. 

      He also alleged that the General Secretary of NLC, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson requested that the entire subscriber’s files be moved from Kriston Lally’s office to his office, which was also rejected. 

    “After a careful consideration of NLC’s continuous mischief, we decided that we shall seek justice from a court of competent jurisdiction and further ask the court to appoint an independent body to distribute subscribers funds back to them. We can no longer trust NLC since the President went on air and told the nation that he was not aware of the interest that accrued on the subscribers deposit when there are documents to prove same. This account must have generated close to 200,000,000 Naira. They may have also included fictitious names to cover up the interest, thus jeopardizing the safety of subscribers’ funds,” he explained. 

     While denying being on the run, Madawaki said he had to adopt a survival strategy when he noticed his firm’s lines are being tapped, which was unhealthy for both safety and planning purposes. 

He added: “Our offices were ransacked and all our equipment taken away by DSS thereby making operations also difficult. Almost all our staffers were subjected to constant harassments form various parties and we could therefore not feel safe to operate. In any case our administrative staff are very much available and reachable and the NLC knows that. We are appealing to our teeming subscribers to please understand with us as we are bent on refunding your money but through the right channel and with you involved.”

     Presently, with the President of Congress, Abdulwahed Omar due to vacate office within the next few days, no decision has been taken on the fate of over N200million interest that have accrued on the N2.5billion deposited in an interest-yielding account. 

      He assured that the refunding process would commence as soon as the Federal High court make a pronouncement on the setting up of a third party to supervise the refunding process on the 23rd February 2015.


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