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N69.4bn debt: Jimoh Ibrahim asks court to reverse assets seizure

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A Federal High Court in Lagos will on Tuesday resume hearing an application by businessman Jimoh Ibrahim seeking to lift an interim order that authorised the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over his properties over an alleged N69.4billion debt.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa fixed the date after taking arguments from Ibrahim’s counsel Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) on Monday.

The judge made the seizure order on November 4, and on November 18, AMCON announced that it effectively took over 12 properties belonging to the businessman and his firms.

The properties include 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.

AMCON’s action is against Ibrahim, NICON Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited.

Displeased with the assets seizure, Ibrahim and his firms, through Akintola, approached the court with a Motion on Notice, seeking to discharge the interim seizure order.

They contended that the court made the seizure order in error because AMCON allegedly concealed material facts in its ex parte application leading to the seizure order.

They urged the court to set aside the order for “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts.”

The applicants further prayed the court to order AMCON to pay them N50billion 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.”

They described the move by AMCON leading to the seizure order as an abuse of court processes.

But AMCON, through its lawyer, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), vehemently 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.”

Justice Aikawa adjourned further hearing in the matter till Tuesday.

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