•We have over £ 220m with Union Bank, says embattled businessman
By Obinna Chima
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday announced that it has taken possession of 12 prime assets belonging to the chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, over an alleged indebtedness of N69.4 billion.
The corporation, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Jude Nwauzor, explained that the takeover of the assets, located in Lagos and Abuja followed the order of Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division.
According to AMCON, in compliance with the enforcement order of the court, it yesterday took “effective possession of all 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners, which include the following: the building of NICON Investment Limited at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited building at Plot 557, Port Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja and the building of NICON Lekki Limited also at No. 5 Customs Street, Lagos.
“The rest include the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; another property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi Express Way, Apapa Road, Lagos; Energy House located on No. 94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a residential apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Lagos as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja.
“In addition to the takeover of the listed properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies, including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited all of who are defendants in the Suit No. FHL/L/CL/776/2016 presided over by Justice Aikawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
“The court also granted AMCON possession overall shares belonging to the embattled Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his two companies that are domiciled in Nigerian Re-Insurance Company Plc, NICON Insurance Company Plc, Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited (NSL) and NICON Trustees Limited.”
AMCON said it took over all the assets listed by the court with the help of court bailiffs and the police as mandated by the court, adding that no incident was recorded during the enforcement of the court order.
According to AMCON, the matter between Ibrahim and the corporation has been interminable since the loan was purchased by the government debt recovery agency during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Union Bank in the early days of AMCON.
It stated since the purchase of the EBA from Union Bank, AMCON has offered the obligor incredible exit opportunities to no avail.
“And as is tradition, AMCON has for years explored all avenues to resolve the debt amicably, but Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies – Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited– have remained recalcitrant and unenthusiastic to repay the huge debt, which has left AMCON with no other choice than to activate the full force of its amended Act, signed into law last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The amended AMCON Act provides the corporation with additional powers to deal decisively with its pile of ‘monstrous obligors’ that have remained untouchable for years and hiding under some legal technicalities to avoid repayment of their loans,” it stated.
Union Bank Owes Us N150bn, Says Businessman
Ibrahim, however, faulted the takeover of the assets by AMCON.
Ibrahim, in a statement yesterday, said the Union Bank owes his organisation £220 million, being deposit kept in the bank.
“The order is discharged already as Union Bank is owing to us £220m, that is over N150 billion; four times over what AMCON is claiming. So, AMCON is pursuing nothing.
“An Interim order lasts 14 days and tomorrow is 14 days. It is of no effect,” he said.