N69bn Debt: AMCON Secures Appeal Court Victory Over Jimoh Ibrahim

By Bukola Idowu 

The Court of Appeal Lagos Division has dismissed an appeal by the Chairman of Global Fleet Group, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, challenging the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)’s seizure of his 12 assets and freezing of all his accounts over his alleged N69.4billion debt.

A press release issued immediately after the appellate court’s decision by Head Corporate Communications Department of AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, described the ruling as ‘good news’ to the recovery drive of the government recovery agency.

Recall that the appellate court had upheld the November 18, 2020, order of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which authorized AMCON to take over Barrister Ibrahim’s assets over his huge debt to AMCON, which the businessman has been contesting in court. Following AMCON enforcement of Ibrahim’s assets and businesses, the embattled businessman has been fighting AMCON in court and claiming in the contrary in the media.

Rising from the court yesterday, the Justices upheld the arguments of AMCON’s lead counsel, Dr Kemi Pinheiro SAN, who prayed the court to dismiss Ibrahim’s application. Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, is the counsel to the 1st defendant Jimoh Ibrahim while chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN is for second Defendant, Global Fleet Group.

In a unanimous decision on Friday, December 10, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the preliminary objection of AMCON and accordingly dismissed both appeals. The implication of this is that AMCON remains in possession of the properties attached by the order of Hon. Justice R.M. Aikawa on November 4, 2021.

AMCON, following Justice Aikawa’s order, took effective possession of all 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners. The assets include 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.

Other properties are 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.

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