Following an order by Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Monday took over some assets belonging to Tampetro Nigeria Limited, promoted by Captain Idris Wada, a former governor of Kogi State. The takeover is in line with the renewed strategy of the Corporation to carry out enforcement actions against recalcitrant obligors that have refused to settle their debt obligation despite all entreaties.
AMCON (Claimant/Applicant) has been in a protracted court case with Tampetro Nigeria Limited; International Logistic & Fulfilment Services Limited; Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal; Idris Wada; James Zubairu and Zalihatu Abubakar Shehu (Defendants) in suit No. FHC/L/CS/334/15 over the inability of Tampetro Nigeria Limited and its promoters to redeem their debt obligation to AMCON. This is actually the second time the court is mandating AMCON to take over the assets. Capt. Wada used his influence to frustrate earlier court order.
AMCON purchased the Non-Performing Loan of Tampetro Nigeria Limited during the first phase of Eligible Bank Asset (EBA) from the defunct Spring Bank Plc. Upon the purchase of the EBA, AMCON made series of unsuccessful attempts to serve demand notice on the company, which would have eventually led to a peaceful resolution. But when it became obvious that the company had moved from its known address, AMCON appointed the firm of Robert Ohuoba & Co. as Receivers to initiate recovery proceeding against Tampetro Nigeria Limited and its promoters towards recovery of the outstanding indebtedness. The indebtedness of the company to AMCON is nearly a billion naira. The asset tracing also revealed that the company’s promoters are prominent politicians in the country one of which is Capt. Idris Wada, a former governor of Kogi State.
Incidentally, the court order obtained by Robert Ohuoba & Co., the law firm representing AMCON empowered them to trace and take possession of all properties, movable or immovable, comprising of buildings, fixtures, vehicles and any other chattel howsoever described belonging to the obligor. In furtherance of the said order, the solicitor also identified two properties belonging to Capt. Idris Wada, a key promoter of Tampetro Nigeria Limited. The two choice properties that have already been taken over by AMCON include; Plot 647 Cadastral Zone A06, Maitama, Abuja and another one on Plot 8504 Cadastral Zone F31, Carraway Dallas, Abuja.
Confirming that AMCON had already taken over the assets/properties of Capt. Idris Wada the lead promoter of Tampetro Nigeria Limited as directed by the Court, Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON said, “We saw it coming because the said debt is long overdue. I want you to understand that before we get to this stage with any of our obligors; we must have patiently tried to resolve the matter without going to court. Anytime we end up taking over assets by the order of the court such as in the case of Tampetro Nigeria Limited or its promoters, it means all efforts by AMCON to get the obligor to amicably repay the indebtedness have proved abortive.
“When you have exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution, there is no other option available to AMCON than what has happened, which is the commencement of enforcement action against Tampetro Nigeria Limited or its promoters as mandated by the Court and as provided under Section 49-52 of the AMCON Act. If not, it would be difficult to take over those mansions because the owners are influential politicians.”
It would be recalled that Mr. Ahmed Lawan Kuru, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON late last year declared that the Corporation after a critical evaluation of its recovery processes changed its resolution strategy to focus more on enforcement actions especially against recalcitrant and hard-core obligors that have vehemently refused to meet their debt obligation to AMCON amicably.