A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday refused to vacate an interim order through which the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) seized properties belonging to Businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, for an alleged N69.4 billion debt.
Ibrahim, NICON Investment Ltd and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd, had contended that the court granted the order in error, alleging that AMCON concealed material facts in its ex parte application leading to the seizure order.
They further urged the court to order AMCON to pay N50 billion indemnity for alleged failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said order and for misrepresentation and concealment of facts.
However, AMCON’s counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), opposed them and prayed the court to dismiss the motion on notice, contending that AMCON’s counter-affidavit revealed “copious reasons” why the order should not be set aside.
He argued that AMCON’s exhibits established that the properties attached belong to Ibrahim, “therefore he cannot claim innocence of them.”
Pinheiro further stated that AMCON made “full and substantial disclosure of all material facts in relation to the subject matter of this suit,” at the time of obtaining the orders on November 4, 2020.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa, in a nearly two-hour ruling, upheld Pinheiro’s arguments.
The judge held, “I have carefully studied the respective applications and arguments for or against of parties.
“I agree totally with the counsel for the claimant, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) that this suit is sui generis as Section 49(1)(2) of the AMCON Act says that the order made on the 4th of November, 2020 can be made ex parte on mere suspicion that the rest is about to be dissipated.”
The properties include the NICON Investment Limited building (Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja), NICON Hotels Limited building (Plot 557, Port Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja), and the building of NICON Lekki Limited (No 5, Customs Street, Lagos).