By Collins Nweze
Businessman chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited in Lagos and Abuja Jimoh Ibrahim has lost 12 choice assets to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over a N69.4 billion debt.
The assets takeover followed an order by Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division.
In addition to the takeover of the listed properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to 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 November 4.
The court also granted AMCON possession right over all shares belonging to the lawyer 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.
In a statement, AMCON said: “In compliance to the enforcement order of the court, AMCON on Wednesday November 18, 2020 took effective possession of all twelve properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners, which include the following: 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.
“Others are 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’s spokesperson Jude Nwauzor said all the assets that are listed by the court and scattered around Abuja and Lagos have been successfully taken over by AMCON with the help of court bailiffs and officers and men of the Nigerian police as mandated by the court.
He added that no incidents were recorded during the enforcement activities at all the locations.
“The matter between Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and the Corporation has been interminable 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,” the statement said.
It went on: “Since the purchase of the EBA from Union Bank, AMCON has offered the obligor incredible exit opportunities to no avail. And as is tradition, AMCON has for years explored all avenues to resolve the debt amicably, but Barrister 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.”