The attention of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (“the Corporation”) has been drawn to the spurious allegations made by the Managing Director of Global Sterling Products Limited (“Global Sterling’s MD”) and reported in some daily newspapers against AMCON, its Managing Director/CEO, Mr Ahmed Kuru and the Receiver/Manager, Mr. Lanre Olaoluwa.
While AMCON would not join issues with Global Sterling Limited or comment on issues, which are subject of ongoing Court actions, we consider it necessary to set the records straight in relation to the allegations in the publications so the public will not be misguided by the false allegations and unfounded allegations by Global Sterling Products Limited and its Indian chief promoter, Harish Puri.
A statement sent to our news room by Jude Nwauzor, who is Head of Corporate Communications Department at the government agency itemised nine points, which it said makes the allegations and claims of Harish Puri and his company spurious, and baseless. AMCON said the public should therefore disregard such claims. The point-by-point of the facts provided to our news desk by the Corporation are as follows:
- AMCON denies all allegations of wrongful conduct made by Global Sterling’s MD in the publication, specifically the allegation that AMCON has refused to comply with the Order of Court made on 21st July 2020 in Suit no: FHC/L/CS/521/2019.
- As admitted by Global Sterling’s MD in the Report, the takeover of the property measuring about 4939.122 square metres at 98, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos (“Attached Property”) on 6th March 2020 was done by the Sheriffs of the Federal High Court on the basis of an Order made on 11th April 2019 by the Court in Suit no: FHC/L/CS/521/2019. The Order was premised on a Certificate of Occupancy granted in favour of one of the guarantors of the Eligible Bank Asset (EBA) of which empowered the Corporation to immediately take possession of the Attached Property pursuant to statutory provisions of AMCON Act pending the determination of the substantive Suit.
- After execution of the above-mentioned Interim order, Global Sterling Products Limited made a claim to a portion of the Attached Property (2170.897 square metres) while admitting that the land within the premises was far in excess of the 2, 170.897 square meters covered by its Certificate of Occupancy. On 21st July 2020, the Federal High Court in determination of their application, which was opposed by AMCON, granted their application in part, and varied made the Order made on 11th April 2019. The Corporation immediately filed an appeal against the variation Order made on 22nd July 2020 and also filed separate Applications to suspend the effect of the Order before the Federal High Court on the same date and the other, for injunction pending appeal on 26th August 2020. Both the Notice of Appeal and the Applications to suspend the Order and for Injunction pending appeal were promptly served on Global Sterling Products Limited through its Counsel.
- By well-established Rules of practice and procedure, the pending Appeal and Applications, all of which were immediately served on Global Sterling and were duly acknowledged by Global Sterling’s MD in the Report, Global Sterling cannot take further actions on the Order varying the Interim order in respect of the property. Despite this fact, Global Sterling through its Counsel purported to issue Forms 48 Notice of the Consequence of disobedience of Court Order and Form 49 Notice to Show Cause why order of committal should not be made against the Managing Director of AMCON and Mr. Lanre Olaoluwa despite the fact that both persons were not parties to the Proceedings and the fact that no order was made against AMCON’s MD.
- The said Forms 48 and 49 at the instance of Global Sterling also contravene the provisions of S. 43(3) of the AMCON Act 2019, as amended, which states that no officer of the Corporation shall be personally liable for anything thing done bona Fide in recovery of sums due in respect of any EBA acquired by the Corporation.
- AMCON has also filed Preliminary Objections in Court against the Forms 48 and 49 issued by Global Sterling on the ground that both are incompetent. It is rather curious that while these processes have been served and are pending, Global Sterling has proceeded to make baseless and defamatory allegations of disobedience of Court Orders against the Corporation, its Managing Director and the Receiver/Manager.
- AMCON’s actions in respect of the EBA and in particular in respect of the possession of the property claimed by Global Sterling Products are solely pursuant to its statutory duty to preserve and prevent dissipation of Assets available to satisfy any Judgment, which the Corporation may eventually secure in respect of its claims before the Court.
- Despite the apparent campaign of calumny, AMCON remains undeterred in carrying out its statutory mandate to recover eligible bank assets and adequately play its role in sustaining the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- It is therefore advised that Global Starling expends its energy and resources towards liquidating its indebtedness as no amount of blackmail will deter the Corporation from carrying out its mandate as provided by law in the larger interest of the Nigerian public.