N69.4bn debt: AMCON takes over Jimoh Ibrahim’s assets

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Twelve prime assets belonging to Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim, the chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited in Lagos and Abuja have been taken over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over an indebtedness of N69.4 billion.

AMCON said, yesterday, that the takeover followed the order of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division. In compliance with the enforcement order of the court, AMCON yesterday took effective possession of all 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners. The seized 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.

T he rest include: 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 on 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. AMCON explained that apart from ordering the takeover of the listed properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies, including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited, all of who are defendants in the Suit No. FHL/L/CL/776/2016 presided over by Justice Aikawa on Wednesday, November 4.

In addition, the corporation said the court also granted it possession over all shares belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and his two companies that are domiciled in Nigerian Re-Insurance Company Plc., NICON Insurance Company Plc., Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited (NSL) and NICON Trustees Limited. Confirming that all the assets listed by the court and scattered around Abuja and Lagos had been taken over by AMCON yesterday with the help of court bailiffs and the Nigerian Police as mandated by the court,AMCON’s spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor, said no incidents were recorded during the enforcement activities at all the locations.

He explained that the matter between Jimoh Ibrahim and the corporation has dragged on since the loan was purchased by the government debt recovery agency during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Union Bank in the early days of AMCON. According to Nwauzor, since the purchase of the EBA from Union Bank, AMCON has explored all avenues to resolve the debt amicably, but “Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies – Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited – have remained recalcitrant and unenthusiastic to repay the huge debt, which has left AMCON with no other choice than to activate the full force of its amended Act, signed into law last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The amended AMCON Act provides the Corporation with additional powers to deal decisively with its pile of ‘monstrous obligors’ that have remained untouchable for years and hiding under some legal technicalities to avoid repayment of their loans. However, disputing the claim by AMCON that it had taken over some of his assets, Ibrahim told New Telegraph last night that: “The order is discharged already. Again Union Bank is owing us N140 billion being deposit kept in the bank – £220 million. So AMCON is pursuing nothing.”

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