By Obinna Chima
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over Best Western Hotels in Ikeja and Victoria Island, Lagos over a N27 billion debts, following a court order.
The order mandated AMCON to seal up and take over the management of the hotel belonging to embattled Ogun politician, Senator Buruji Kashamu, pending a resolution of the debt.
The obligor, the Group Managing Director of Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited, Mr. Edward Akinlade, was alleged to have owed Oceanic Bank, bought over by Ecobank N13.4 billion.
The debt has been a subject of litigation for some time now.
THISDAY learnt that since AMCON obtained the court order, it has not been able to take over considering the fact that it is a hospitality business.
The corporation said it did not want to create any scene in order not to scare customers but that the â€œowner has been difficult; preventing court bailiffs and other law enforcement officers assigned by the court to carry out the assignment from dosing their jobs.â€
AMCON said it was working according to a court order, dated August 4, 2017 granted by Justice M.B Idris, which confirmed that the corporation had sued the Inspector General of Police, Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and civil defence corps and the Lagos State Commandant of the Corps as defendants and AMCON which gave it as a government agency, the mandate to take over possession of a non performing loan.
The judgment stated that due to the default of the debtor to liquidate its indebtedness to the plaintiff (AMCON) the powers and rights of the plaintiff as a secured creditor under the three Deeds of Legal Mortgage registered as 32/32/2033, 88/88/2032 and 89/89/2028 in respect of the properties earlier listed have arisen and therefore become exercisable.
AMCON under the current management team led by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, has continually maintained that there would be no rest for recalcitrant debtors of the corporation like in the case of the promoters of Gateway Portland Cement Limited, which he said remained the only way AMCON mandate could be realised within the timeframe of the assignment and in the interest of the countryâ€™s economy.
Kuru recently disclosed that 350 obligorsâ€™ accounts represented about 80 per cent of AMCONâ€™s current exposure of N2.5 trillion as at December 31, 2016. Kure had also said it was based on this that AMCON repositioned its debt recovery approach to strengthen legal and credit restructuring units to collaborate on the aforementioned 350 accounts, which he termed â€œdefaultersâ€; enhance the restructuring and turnaround team; and engage in asset tracing to enhance recoveries.Â