Silverbird Group will outlast takeover, says Murray-Bruce
The Federal High Court in yesterday granted an interim injunction against Silverbird Productions Limited, Silverbird Showtime Limited, Silverbird Galleria Limited and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Guy Murray-Bruce, Roy Murray-Bruce and Janthan Murray-Bruce on the application of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Following the order, the corporation which is empowered to acquire non-performing loan assets of Nigerian banks at fair values and then put them to economic use in a profitable manner immediately took control of all the companies.
Stern-looking law enforcement agents barricaded all properties belonging to the senator, known for his Commonsense advocacy against the Buhari administration.
A statement from the corporation revealed that AMCON had appointed M.A Banire (SAN) as the receiver to the companies.
It stated that Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun, the presiding judge, while granting the order on the application of counsel to AMCON, restrained Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and other obligors that owe AMCON over N10billion from challenging, interfering with or otherwise obstructing or frustrating the Receiver (M.A Banire SAN) appointed by AMCON over the fixed and floating assets of the listed companies belonging to the Murray-Bruce family. The Senator who would not repay the huge debt owed AMCON has been in protracted negotiations.
Contrary to news making the rounds since the takeover, AMCON explained that it did not shut down the concerned companies.
It stated: “We appointed a Receiver that took over the companies in the early hours of Thursday June 23, 2016 as ordered by the Federal High Court and the Receiver would be responsible for the companies on behalf of AMCON going forward.”
The court order affects the mortgaged asset located at Central Area, Cadastral Zone, AOO Plot No. 1161, Abuja, the mortgaged asset at Abonnema Wharf Road and Abali Park in Port Harcourt, Rivers State as well as the mortgaged asset at 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Lagos where the Silverbird Galleria is located. The Court also ordered the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos State, its Deputy and all other Police Officers under them to assist M.A Banire SAN, the Receiver and the Bailiffs of the Federal High Court in the enforcement of the orders of the Court.
Presently, 400 obligors of AMCON account for more than N4.5 trillion, which is approximately 80 per cent of the total outstanding loan balance of the corporation’s over twelve thousand accounts with obligors that have become recalcitrant over time despite obvious efforts of the corporation.
To deal with the situation however, AMCON recently increased the tempo of its recovery activities using firmer negotiation strategies as well as utilising the special enforcement powers vested by the AMCON Act to compel some of its recalcitrant debtors especially those that are politically exposed and business heavyweights to repay their debts.
Meanwhile, has described the confiscation of three of his companies by AMCON, as a tough time which the Silverbird Group will outlast.
Reacting few hours after the news broke, Bruce explained on his Twitter handle @benmurraybruce, that: “I have been on an international flight and have only just landed.
“The situation is being resolved and things will be back to normal.
“In 36 years, Silverbird has grown and like any body, it will face challenges. Tough times don’t last. But we, as tough people, outlast them,” he tweeted on social media.