Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos Division yesterday adjourned till November 11 to resume a debt recovery suit filed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) against a hotel, Hardly Apartments.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke fixed the date following the absence of respondents’ counsel. Hardly Apartments, a four-star high-rise on Victoria Island, Lagos, is owned by a former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo.
AMCON is seeking to recover the sum of N924, 788, 754, 56 million, it claims the hotel owes. Joined as the second respondent in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1635/2015, is the hotel’s director, Mr Ayoola Gam-Ikon. The case was filed in 2015. At the resumed hearing of the suit, AMCON’s counsel Jayes Ujah told Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that the matter was for trial.
He expressed dismay over the absence of respondents’ counsel. But Justice Aneke informed him that Gam-Ikon’s counsel Mr U. Clement had sent in a letter applying for an adjournment. Upon reading the letter, Ujah conceded to Clement’s prayer. In a bench ruling, Justice Aneke adjourned trial till November 11.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on December 18, 2015, froze Kanu’s accounts and that of Hardley Apartments. Justice Okon Abang held that the order subsisted pending the hearing of AMCON’s suit. The order followed AMCON’s bid to recover the alleged debt.
In an affidavit by a Credit Officer, Mr. Victor Igabor, AMCON said between May 2008 and January 2011, Skye Bank offered Hardley Apartments a loan of N520,457,000.
But the hospitality firm and Ayoola Gam-Ikon, allegedly could not repay the loan. The defendants’ indebtedness as of October 2015 was said to be N924,788,754.56, representing principal and interest. AMCON, which bought over the loan, said if the restraining order was not granted, Kanu’s and the company’s assets could be dissipated.
It sought an order attaching the debt due from Hardley Apartments as well as debts accruing from the defendants jointly and severally. AMCON prayed for an order freezing all accounts belonging to the defendants jointly and severally in any bank or financial institution in Nigeria. Granting the order, Justice Abang said AMCON could, in the interim, possess all the movable and immovable properties known as Plot 46, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos belonging to Kanu.