*AMCON boss, Ahmed Kuru
As part of the renewed efforts as mandated by the amended act of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Corporation, we gathered has approached the Federal High Court, Lagos Division for an order to attach the bank accounts of the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, and his firm, Fiogret Limited, in a bid to recover a judgment debt of N784m.
In an exparte application filed before Justice Maureen Onyetenu, AMCON said the N784m debt arose from a July 5, 2013 consent judgment entered in its favour by Justice Okon Abang. The corporation said contrary to its expectation, about seven years after Justice Abang’s judgment, Fiogret Limited and Ogboru “have not taken any step(s) to satisfy/liquidate the judgment sum and the accruable interest.”
AMCON, which has Ahmed Lawan Kuru as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer said its investigation had revealed that Fiogret and Ogboru had accounts in 22 banks in Nigeria and prayed the court to summon all the banks to disclose how much Fiogret Limited and Ogboru have with them and for the court to make an order attaching the funds “to prevent the judgment debtors from dissipating their funds with the various garnishees (banks).”
The corporation said this was the only means by which it could “reap the fruits of its hard-earned judgment in the suit herein.” But Fiogret Limited and Ogboru are challenging Justice Onyetenu’s jurisdiction to hear AMCON’s ex parte application, seeking the seizure of their funds. The firm and the businessman said they had already appealed Justice Abang’s July 5, 2013 judgment up to the Supreme Court while their Motion on Notice praying for a stay of execution of the judgment was also pending before the apex court.
They contended that contrary to AMCON’s argument, there was no provision in AMCON Act, stipulating that they must pay the N784m judgment sum into an account approved by the court pending the determination of their appeal by the Supreme Court.
Besides, they said the Federal Government also owed Fiogret Limited N4.3bn, which the Federal Ministry of Justice had in an October 20, 2015 acknowledged and expressed the resolve of the Federal Government to pay N350m to AMCON. On Monday, Justice Onyetenu adjourned till April 1, 2020 to take arguments from the parties on the move by AMCON to attach the defendants’ accounts.
When contacted, Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications Department at AMCON said the prayers of his Corporation is in line with the 2019 AMCON Act amendment, which was signed into law last year by President Muhammadu Buhari. The new acts in this instance mandates banks and financial institutions to disclose the financial details of the obligor to AMCON.