From all indications, the court battle between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim over the over N64billion indebtedness to AMCON has shifted till 2021. Armed with a court order and a much stronger AMCON Act as amended, the Corporation late last month seized about 12 prime assets of the businessman over the huge debt.
Since them, Barrister Ibrahim has been gasping for air and using every resource within his reach to change the narrative just as AMCON has insisted that Jimoh Ibrahim remains a notorious and recalcitrant debtor. The news of AMCON takeover of his assets made headlines across the nation and beyond but, we gathered that the businessman went to court to seek for the court to upturn its decision, which mandated AMCON’s enforcement over his assets.
We however learnt that the Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till January 12, 2021, to rule on an application by Jimoh Ibrahim, seeking the reversal of an interim court order, which authorised AMCON to take over his properties over the huge debt of N69.4bn. Justice Rilwan Aikawa fixed the date on Tuesday after taking arguments from counsel for Ibrahim, Nicon Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, Adenrele Adegborioye; as well as AMCON’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN).
In their Motion on Notice, Ibrahim and the firms contended that the court granted the seizure order in error because AMCON allegedly concealed material facts in its exparte application leading to the seizure order. Ibrahim and his firms prayed the court to order AMCON to pay them N50bn indemnity for their alleged “failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said order sought to be set aside and for misrepresentation and concealment of fact.”
But AMCON’s lawyer, Pinheiro, opposed the defendants’ Motion on Notice and prayed the court to dismiss same. A lawyer in AMCON’s legal department, Imelda Raheem, said, “The plaintiff, at the time of obtaining the orders on the 4th day of November, 2020, made full and substantial disclosure of all material facts in relation to the subject matter of this suit.”
Following the seizure order made by Justice Rilwan Aikawa on November 4, AMCON took over 12 properties belonging to Ibrahim and his firms. The properties included the NICON Investment Limited building 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 among others.