The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State jurisdiction on Wednesday ordered a firm, Ziklagsis Network Limited, to pay an admitted debt of N1, 906, 732, 758. 66 to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. Justice Muslim Hassan made the order while ruling in a debt recovery suit filed against the firm and two others – Sharon Properties Limited and Mrs. Rosemary Osula-Mku – by AMCON. The judge held that the N1.9bn would be paid with an annual interest of 21 per cent.
AMCON had filed a suit, marked FHC/L/CS/655/2015, seeking to recover an alleged debt of N11.5bn from the defendants. The corporation, in the court papers filed through its lawyer, Chief Aloy Ezenduka, said the defendants obtained loans of N8.1bn and N4.1bn from Union Bank Plc and the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc respectively.
According to AMCON, the defendants had obtained the loans between 2005 and 2009 for the purpose of importing prepaid meters into the country. AMCON, however, said having acquired the loans, after they turned bad, from the banks, it approached the defendants to recover same. Ezenduka said it was the failure of the defendants to accede to the repayment request that necessitated the lawsuit.
He urged the court to compel the defendants to pay AMCON N11.5bn with an annual interest of 10 per cent until the final liquidation of the alleged debt. AMCON also sought an order compelling the defendants to pay it N1.5m as the cost of filing the suit. But the defendants, in their amended statement of defence, denied AMCON’s claim of N11.5bn, stating rather that they owed only N1.9bn. In his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Hassan ordered the defendants to pay the admitted debt of N1.9bn to AMCON with 21 per cent annual interest. He, however, adjourned till November 28, 2017, for further hearing of the remaining disputed debt.