The Court of Appeal Lagos Division has dismissed an appeal by the Chairman of Global Fleet Group, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, challenging the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON’s ) seizure of his 12 assets and freezing of all his accounts over his alleged N69.4billion debt.
The appellate court upheld the November 18, 2020 order of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos which authorised AMCON to take over Mr Ibrahim’s assets.
The justices upheld the arguments of AMCON’s lead counsel, Dr Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, who prayed the court to dismiss Ibrahim’s application.
Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, is the counsel to the 1st defendant Jimoh Ibrahim while Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, is for second Defendant, Global Fleet Group.
Following Justice Aikawa’s order, AMCON took effective possession of all the 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners.
The assets include 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.
Other properties are 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 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 take over of the properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Ibrahim and his companies including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited all of whom are defendants in the suit No. FHL/L/CL/776/2016.
AMCON had dragged Ibrahim to court stating that sometime in 2008 and 2009 NICON Investment and Global Fleet were granted loan facility of N26 billion by Union Bank, and that the facility was secured with £125 million jointly owned by both companies, kept in the NICON Investment’s fixed deposit account with the bank.
It added that when the loan was due and the both companies failed to repay, Union Bank later sold the debt to it (AMCON) as non-performing loan, adding that as at November 30, 2020, the outstanding loan, with accrued interest stood at N69 billion.
AMCON said it later acted, pursuant to Section 48 of its Establishment Act, to appoint a receiver/manager over the assets of NICON Investment and Global Fleet in order to manage the assets and prevent them from wastage.