S’Court Nullifies AMCON’s Takeover of Lagos Hotel

Alex Enumah in Abuja 

The Supreme Court has nullified the takeover of Best Western Hotel, Lagos, by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). 

A five-member panel of the apex court voided the action of the Federal Government’s agency shortly after it dismissed AMCON’s appeal challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal in favour of the respondent.

Justice Adamu Jauro, in a judgment delivered on Friday, held that the appeal by AMCON was lacking in merit and ought to be dismissed.

AMCON had approached the apex court to set aside the decision of the appellate court entered against it in respect of the agency’s takeover of the hotel belonging to Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited. 

A Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the takeover of the company’s property by AMCON for not paying the loan obtained from the defunct Oceanic Bank.  

This was as a result of a suit by AMCON, praying the court to order security agencies to offer it protection to enable it to exercise its possessory rights as a legal mortgagee under the Deeds of Legal Mortgage, over Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited’s landed properties.

But Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited appealed against the judgment on the grounds that it was denied a fair hearing because it was not joined as a defendant.

Delivering judgment in the appeal, Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu held that the failure of AMCON to join Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited as a defendant in its suit before the Federal High Court rendered the proceedings leading to the takeover order a nullity.

The court also ordered that the matter be returned to the Federal High Court for a fresh hearing.

Dissatisfied, AMCON approached the apex court to challenge the judgment of the appellate court.

However, the apex court, in the judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the appeal was unmeritorious and subsequently dismissed it.

“I find no merit in the appeal and it is accordingly dismissed. The judgment of the Court of Appeal setting aside the judgment of the trial court for trial to start denovo, is hereby affirmed,” it said.

Related Articles