Lawan’s wedding ceremony with Halima, the second daughter and last child of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd), in May 2017, held in two states, Niger and Gombe, with nine ceremonies organised in four consecutive days, reportedly cost about N300 million according to the societal lifestyle journal, Encomium.
On Thursday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed that Polaris Bank had been sold to Strategic Capital Investment Ltd. (SCIL) after being under the government’s control for about five years.
Lawan Auwal Abdullahi is the investor behind SCIL which acquired the bank from the government’s debt recovery agency, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The SCIL acquired the commercial bank for N1.35 trillion, although the asset transfer was made with the investor still owing a balance of N1.305 trillion after making an upfront payment of N50 billion.
The amount Polaris Bank was sold surpassed its last market valuation (when it was known as Skye Bank), which was N10.7 billion before it was delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (now known as Nigerian Exchange Limited).
Owners of Strategic Capital Investment Limited
Previous reports on the acquisition of Polaris Bank had been linked to Lawan Auwal Abdullahi, and following the sale announcement on Thursday, it was gathered that Lawan Auwal is one of the top directors at Strategic Capital Investment Limited.
The firm is owned by Ponglomerape Limited, which has on its board, Lawan Auwal, Lawan Abdullahi, Lawan Shaibu, and Lawan Jamilu.
Now, who is Lawan Auwal, new owner of Polaris Bank?
Lawan Auwal is a silent businessman, who has been touted to be a commercial farmer, but a closer view into the services of his companies, Ponglomerape Limited and Nice Corporate Services Limited, showed that he wears various crowns.
While his portfolio in Ponglomerape Limited shows he leads a board of four directors, he serves as Managing Director at Nice Corporate Services Limited.
Aside from his agricultural and trading business, Lawan’s company, Ponglomerape is into the business of civil engineering and real estate development, through spinoff firms, Ponglomerape Properties Investment Limited and Springe Estate.
Details of Nice Corporate Services expanded the investments of Lawan into the oil and gas industry, as well as general consultancy business.
Ponglomerape Limited was registered with the CAC on September 5, 2002, while Nice Corporate Services Limited was registered on May 13, 2004.
Recall the talk of town wedding of Halima, the second daughter and last child of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd), in May 2017, which reportedly recorded about 30 private jets in attendance – that was Lawan’s wedding.
Prior to the wedding, little was known about Lawan, aside from that he was the Sarkin Sudan of Gombe. The wedding, which was held in two states, Niger and Gombe, with nine ceremonies organised in four consecutive days, reportedly cost about N300 million according to the societal lifestyle journal, Encomium.
It was gathered that Lawan paid N500,000 and provided 10 cows as dowry to marry Halima, who is the child of late Maryam Babangida. Lawan has three wives.
Note that Lawan’s father-in-law ruled Nigeria as a military dictator between August 27, 1985 and August 27, 1993. He famously annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential elections won by Bashorun Moshood Abiola.