Court Rejects Ibrahim’s Attempt to Vacate Order over Seized Assets

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By Obinna Chima

A Federal High Court in Lagos has declined to vacate an interim order through which the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) seized the property of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim over an alleged N69.4billion debt.

AMCON revealed this in a statement signed by its head of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Jude Nwauzor.

The agency had taken possession of 12 prime assets belonging to Ibrahim, who is the chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited in Lagos and Abuja over the alleged indebtedness.

The businessman, who is also a lawyer, it was gathered, had asked the court to set aside the order for “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts.”

Ibrahim and co. also asked the court to order AMCON to pay N50 billion indemnity for alleged failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said order, and for misrepresentation and concealment of fact, which the court also brushed aside.

According to the statement, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, in the ruling, upheld the arguments of AMCON’s lawyer, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), that the corporation made “full and substantial disclosure of all material facts” at the time of obtaining the orders on November 4, 2020. The presiding Judge, therefore, ruled that the order subsists.

Following the November 4 order, AMCON had taken possession of over 12 property belonging to the businessman and his firms. The property included the NICON Investment Limited building on Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited building located 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 statement added that in addition to the takeover of the listed property, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Ibrahim and his companies, including Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited, all of which are defendants in the suit number: FHL/L/CL/776/2016.

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.