In a bid to recover the huge debt of nearly N70billion owed it by businessman Jimoh Ibrahim, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division following Justice Okon Abang’s ruling of Tuesday February 22, 2021, which was unsatisfactory to the appellants.
Justice Abang presided over the case involving AMCON; NICON Investment Limited (in Receivership); Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited (in Receivership); Taiwo Lakanu (appointed Receiver of NICON Investment Limited & Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and Jimoh Ibrahim; NICON Insurance Limited; Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Limited; Abuja International Hotels Limited and NICON Hotels Limited.
The appeal was filed on the grounds that the Honourable trial court erred in law when the trial Judge (Justice Abang) neglected, ignored, failed, and or refused to consider the ruling of Honourable Justice Aikawa, which was delivered on November 4, 2020 in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/776/2016. The Federal High Court per Honourable Justice Aikawa reopened the proceeding in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/776/2016, which was earlier stayed by Honourable Justice Oguntoyibo as far back as October 2, 2019.
It would be recalled that after the possessory order by Honourable Justice Aikawa on November 4, 2020, the appellants had approached the Federal High Court in the suit leading to the appeal to request for an order to protect the 1st appellant’s Receiver/Manager ((ie, 4th Appellant) while receiving and managing the assets granted to the 1st plaintiff further to the possessory order of Honourable Justice Aikawa.
On the account of that, AMCON believes that the failure of Honourable Justice Abang to consider that possessory order of Honourable Justice Aikawa granted on November 4, 2020 in FHCL/CS/776/2016 while delivering the ruling on February 22, 2021 led to manifest injustice.
Secondly, the appeal states that “The Honourable trial court erred in law when the trial Judge set aside and vacated the ex-parte order of the vacation Judge, Honourable Justice Maha, on the ground that the order of stay of proceedings granted by Honourable Justice Oguntoyinbo in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/776/2016 was not disclosed to the vacation Judge.”
AMCON in November 2020 following a court order seized the properties of the barrister Jimoh Ibrahim over an alleged debt of N69.4billion, which was sold to AMCON by Union Bank as a non-performing loan in the early days of AMCON. The affected businesses of the embattled businessman include NICON Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited.
The matter between Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and AMCON 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. AMCON is however not deterred to recover the nearly N70billion owed it by Barrister Ibrahim and his companies in the interest of the Nigerian economy and the public in general.