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Jimoh Ibrahim moves to halt asset seizure by AMCON over N69.4bn debt

A Lagos Federal High Court will Tuesday hear an application by Jimoh Ibrahim, chairman and chief executive officer of Global Fleet Group, seeking a reversal of an interim order, which mandated the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to sequestrate his assets over an alleged debt totalling N69.4 billion.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa had on 4th November issued the seizure order, with AMCON declaring on 18th November it had taken over 12 properties owned by Mr Ibrahim and his firms.

The assets in question comprised NICON Investment Limited building at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; the building of NICON Lekki Limited at No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos and NICON Hotels Limited building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja.

The government-owned asset recovery agency has been increasingly aggressive in its repossession efforts recently on account of the humongous debt of N5 trillion in its portfolio.

The latest string of asset seizures by AMCON included properties of Pan Ocean, Deap Capital, Hydro Hotels, Northrich Technologies and Gedee Zulu Investment Limited.

Justice Aikawa fixed hearing for Tuesday after he took arguments from Niyi Akintola (SAN), counsel of Ibrahim on Monday.

Earlier, Ibrahim and his companies had prayed the court to cancel the interim seizure order, claiming the order was erroneously issued, considering that AMCON hid material facts in its ex parte application.

Read also: AMCON seizes Jimoh Ibrahim’s properties, freezes accounts over N69.4bn debt

The applicants similarly requested the Lagos court to set aside the order for “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts.”

They also demanded that AMCON be ordered to pay them an indemnity in the sum of N50 billion for their alleged “failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said order sought to be set aside and for misrepresentation and concealment of fact.”

Imelda Raheem, a lawyer in AMCON’s legal unit, said “the plaintiff, at the time of obtaining the orders on the 4th day of November, 2020, made full and substantial disclosure of all material facts in relation to the subject matter of this suit.”

AMCON, which was established during the 2009 financial meltdown to buy bad debts from banks’ portfolios, is to wind down operations by 2023.

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