Renowned business turn-around expert Jimoh Ibrahim was on Wednesday dealt a severe blow as the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) announced it was taking over his prime assets on account of an alleged N69.4 billion debt.
AMCON said it had taken over 12 prime assets belonging to Jimoh who is the promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited.
The corporation, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Jude Nwauzor, said that the action was upon the order of Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division.
AMCON said that in compliance with the enforcement order of the court, it on Wednesday took “effective possession of all 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners, which include the following: the building of NICON Investment Limited at 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.
“The rest include the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; another property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi Express Way, Apapa Road, Lagos; Energy House located on No. 94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a residential apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Lagos as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja.
“In addition to the takeover of the listed properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies, including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited all of who are defendants in the Suit No. FHL/L/CL/776/2016 presided over by Justice Aikawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
“The court also granted AMCON possession overall shares belonging to the embattled Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his two companies that are domiciled in Nigerian Re-Insurance Company Plc, NICON Insurance Company Plc, Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited (NSL) and NICON Trustees Limited.”
AMCON explained that the action followed the failure of Ibrahim and his companies to take up offers from it for a harmonious resolution of the issue.
“And as is tradition, AMCON has for years explored all avenues to resolve the debt amicably, but Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies – Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited– have remained recalcitrant and unenthusiastic to repay the huge debt, which has left AMCON with no other choice than to activate the full force of its amended Act, signed into law last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The amended AMCON Act provides the corporation with additional powers to deal decisively with its pile of ‘monstrous obligors’ that have remained untouchable for years and hiding under some legal technicalities to avoid repayment of their loans,” it stated.
Jimoh Ibrahim Says Union Bank Owes Him N150bn
Ibrahim has, however, faulted the action saying that Union Bank owed him and his organisaiton £220 million, being money he allegedly kept in the bank.
“The order is discharged already as Union Bank is owing to us £220m, that is over N150 billion; four times over what AMCON is claiming. So, AMCON is pursuing nothing.
“An Interim order lasts 14 days and tomorrow is 14 days. It is of no effect,” he said.