Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) the Chairman of Bicourtney has reacted the recent debtors list published by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Monday October 22, 2018 in some daily newspapers in the country. Babalakin according to his lawyer, Mr. Olawale Akoni (SAN) said Babalakin’s companies are not indebted to AMCON. He therefore stated that it was indeed libelous for AMCON to publish their names on the just released list as “delinquent debtors.”
According to Akoni, his clients were not indebted to AMCON in “any manner whatsoever” contrary to AMCON’s claim in the said advertorial. Explaining the facts of the matter he said, sometime in 2012, AMCON alleged that Resort International Limited (N20billion), Bicourtney Limited (N20billion) and Roygate Properties Limited (N9billion) were indebted to it. The Federal High Court in Abuja, on April 5, 2012, ordered that whatever debt was outstanding to any Federal agency by Bicourtney and companies related to it should be deducted from the sum of N132billion, which the federal government of Nigeria owed Bicourtney Limited.
“The effect of this judgment is that as at that day, Bicourtney and companies associated with it had a judgment credit of N132b –N20b – N20b – N9b =N83billion. “Bicourtney had a net judgment credit of N83billion,” Akoni said. The SAN further alleged that AMCON subsequently lost a case against Resort International in which it claimed N20billion. He said the court dismissed the case on the basis that Resort International did not owe AMCON N20billion, and that AMCON wrongly bought an equity transaction as debt.
Akoni said the court of competent jurisdiction also held that the federal government owed Resort International N55billion at an interest of 17% per annum since December 3, 2015, an amount now over N100billion. The SAN added that the court awarded N3billion as damages to Resort International for libel. Akoni said despite the court verdicts, AMCON had continued to publish his clients’ names as debtors. “As a responsible news organisation, we believe it is necessary to bring this irresponsible action of AMCON to your attention and warn you to refrain from following the bandwagon of AMCON’s delinquent behaviour,” Akoni added.
All attempts to get Mr. Jude Nwauzor, the Head of Corporate Communications at AMCON to react to the claims of Mr. Akoni SAN proved abortive as his private lines were switched off as at press time.