A federal high court in Lagos has lifted an interim injunction empowering the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, to take over the companies (and their assets) belonging to Nigerian billionaire businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim.
The court injunction followed an unserviced N50 billion indebtedness by Jimoh Ibrahim to AMCON and a court order to seize the companies as well as restrain the businessman from any dealings with the company’s fund was made in June, 2016 after a federal high court ruling by Justice Saliu Saidu.
On Monday, July 11, 2016, Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an order restoring possession of the companies and their assets to including all bank accounts associated with the companies to Ibrahim.
The judge set aside the ex-parte order following an application by AMCON’s lawyer, Yusuf Ali, SAN, that the parties in the suit had decided to explore an amicable settlement of the dispute.
The companies involved in the AMCON action are NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Re-Insurance Company Plc, NICON Insurance Company Plc,NICON Insurance Limited, Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Limited, Abuja International Hotels Limited, NICON Hotels Limited, Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited, and NICON Trustees Limited.
NICON Insurance Limited, Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Limited, Abuja International Hotels Limited and NICON Hotels Limited had objected to the court ruling for the takeover by AMCON. Lawyers of the company’s Niyi Akintola, SAN, and Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, prayed the court to set aside the ex-parte order on the grounds that AMCON deliberately failed to make full disclosure of all the material facts before the court.
At the resumed hearing of the applications to vacate the ex parte order yesterday, AMCON’s lawyer told the court that since the provisions of the Federal High Court rules encourage amicable settlement of disputes, the parties had decided to meet and report back to court within two weeks.
“In the spirit of good faith to show that we are doing this to promote equity and justice, we have agreed that the ex-parte order should be suspended so that parties can explore the issue of settlement,” AMCON lawyer, Yusuf Ali told the court.
“We have an agreement that each of the parties will nominate one chartered accountant each that will carry out a forensic audit of the account.
“Since Union Bank is the principal bank that gave out the loan, the accountants will meet at Union Bank’s headquarters and they are to report back within two weeks,” Ali said.
Confirming the agreement, Akintola, Ayorinde and Ibrahim who led a team of lawyers, urged the court to set aside the ex parte order so as to give the parties unfettered access to meet and report back to the court.
Justice Anka discharged the ruling and adjourned the matter till August, 1, 2016.