Founder of Bi-Courtney, and Roygate Properties Limited, Wale Babalakin, has denied owing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria N49bn.
AMCON’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, had said recently that Nigeria was structured and ruled in a way that debtors are allowed to get away with their 'sins'.
Kuru had announced that the agency would be going after the 20 highest debtors including Ifeanyi Ubah, Jimoh Ibrahim, Wale Babalakin and Kashamu Buruji.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Babalakin said, "The Federal Government of Nigeria, which owns AMCON, is indebted to Bi-Courtney to the sum of over N132bn.
"Furthermore, AMCON has been ordered by a competent court of law to deduct any debt allegedly owed to AMCON by Dr Babalakin, Bi-Courtney and Roygate from this sum.
"In 2012, AMCON had alleged that Roygate, Bi-Courtney and Resort International Limited, a company owned by Babalakin, were indebted to AMCON in the sum of N9bn, N20bn and N20bn respectively.
"On the 5th day of April 2012, the Federal High Court in Suit No.: FHC/ABJ/CS/50/2009 – Bi-Courtney Limited v. Attorney General of the Federation, ordered that whatever debt that was then owed by Babalakin, Bi-Courtney, Roygate and other associated companies to any agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, be deducted from the sum of over N132bn, which the Federal Government owed Bi-Courtney (“the set-off Order”)."
Stating the legal battle which cleared him of debt, Babalakin said, "AMCON obtained the leave (permission) of the Court of Appeal as an interested party in Appeal No. CA/A/568M/2012 – AMCON v. Bi-Courtney and Attorney General of the Federation to challenge the set-off Order.
"However, Bi-Courtney successfully challenged the leave at the Supreme Court in Appeal No.: SC/770/2014 – Bi-Courtney v. Attorney General of the Federation and AMCON.
"On the 5th day of April 2019, the Supreme Court delivered a judgment in Bi-Courtney’s favour to the effect that the proceedings before the Court of Appeal was incompetent (“the Supreme Court judgment”)."
AMCON has said it will recover a total of N5trn from its debtors as part of efforts to fight corruption.