Jimoh Ibrahim loses appeal to recover assets seized by AMCON

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

The judges upheld the arguments of AMCON’s lead counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who had prayed the court to dismiss Ibrahim’s application.

Ibrahim, who is now a senator-elect the (first defendant) and his company (second defendant) were also represented by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Mr Niyi Akintola and Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, respectively.

In response to the order of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, which was issued on November 18, 2020, AMCON took possession of all 12 properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners.

The assets include the NICON Investment Limited’s building at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited’s building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja, and NICON Lekki Limited’s building at No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos.

Other properties that were taken over by AMCON include the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at No. 3, Hospital Road, another property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi Expressway, 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 building, Garki 1, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

In addition to the takeover of the properties by AMCON, the lower court has also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies, including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited, and NICON Investment Limited all of whom were defendants in the protracted suit No. FHL/L/CL/776/2016.

It would be recalled that when AMCON first recorded victory at the lower court, Jude Nwauzor, the Head of Corporate Communications Department at AMCON had described the judgement as “another victory for AMCON and its debt recovery drive in the country.

Reacting to the latest ruling, AMCON, in a statement, said that no matter the class or personality of the obligor, Corporation will not be deterred by the antics of its debtors to recover the huge debt owed it by some high-profile but recalcitrant debtors in the interest of the Nigerian economy.

The statement affirmed that AMCON will continue to go about its mandate as expected of the Corporation guided by the AMCON Act as amended.  

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