Alleged N69 Billion Debt: Court Fixes May 25 To Hear AMCON’s Motion Against Jimoh Ibrahim
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed May 25, 2021, to hear a motion brought by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), seeking a stay of execution of orders it granted a businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, over alleged N69billion debt.
The new date was fixed following an announcement by the registrar of the court that the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang is unavailable for the day’s proceeding.
AMCON, through its lawyer, Ade Adedeji, had indicated his readiness to appeal the orders made in favour of Ibrahim and his companies by Justice Abang by filing a motion for stay of execution before the court.
Justice Abang had, on February 22 vacated the orders obtained by AMCON in aid of Taiwo Lakanu, the receiver/manager, it appointed to manage the assets of two seized companies owned by Mister Ibrahim over alleged N69 billion debt.
The seized companies are NICON investment limited and global fleet oil and gas limited.
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Justice Abang, in the ruling, held that it was an order made without jurisdiction because there was a subsisting order by a court differently constituted on the matter.
He further said that AMCON misled the court by withholding material facts from the court to obtain the interim ex-parte order.
A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Nkeonye Maha also on January 4, 2021, granted the exparte motion as prayed by AMCON.
The court had restrained the defendants, their directors, shareholders, officers, employees, agents or privies from interfering or obstructing Taiwo Lakanu (4th plaintiff) in the course of performing his duty as receiver-manager whether by himself and or other persons employed by him over the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs’ assets pending the determination of the originating summons, among others.
The judge made further consequential orders directing the Inspector General Of Police (IGP) and other security officers named in the application, to provide Lakanu with all the needed assistance to execute his task.
AMCON is the first plaintiff, NICON Investment Limited (in receivership), global fleet oil and gas limited (in receivership) and Taiwo Lakanu (appointed as receiver of first and second plaintiffs) are second to fourth plaintiffs in the suit.
Jimoh Ibrahim, NICON Insurance Limited, Nigeria re-insurance hotels limited, Abuja International Hotels limited and NICON hotels limited are listed as first to fifth defendants.
But in a ruling, Justice Abang vacated the main order and the accompanying consequential orders made by Justice Maha on the grounds that AMCON withheld facts from the court and that the orders were made without jurisdiction.
Justice Abang noted that AMCON failed to disclose that the purported debt owed by NICON investment and global fleet to Union Bank, which it bought, was the subject of a pending suit before the High Court of Lagos State.
He added that AMCON also withheld from the court, in obtaining the said January 4 orders, that a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice J. Oguntoyinbo, granted an order on October 2, 2019, staying further proceedings in a similar case, pending the outcome of proceedings in the suit before the high court of Lagos.
Justice Abang further added that since the order for stay of proceedings made on October 2, 2019 by the Federal High Court, Lagos was not appealed, it was still subsisting and as a result, the Federal High Court in Abuja was without jurisdiction to have made the orders of January 4.