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N69.4bn debt: Court reviews order for AMCON to seize Jimoh Ibrahim’s assets



By Ridwan Adekunle

The Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday reviewed and set aside a January 4, 2021 interim order for the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to seize properties belonging to Lagos businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, over alleged N69.4 billion debt.

In reviewing the earlier order, the court presided by Justice Okon Abang also vacated all consequential orders made by the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa on February 17, 2021 declined to vacate the order that empowered AMCON to seize Mr Ibrahim’s property in lieu of the debt.

Mr Ibrahim, along with NICON Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited had prayed the court to set aside the order for “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts” in the case.

They further prayed the court to order AMCON to pay Mr Ibrahim and other defendants in the case N50 billion indemnity for alleged failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said court order and for misrepresentation and concealment of fact.

But Justice Aikawa upheld the argument by AMCON’s counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) that AMCON made “full and substantial disclosure of all material facts” at the time of obtaining the orders on November 4, 2020.

In giving his ruling in the case on Monday, Justice Abang said he was reviewing the order without prejudice to the power of AMCON to appoint a Receiver to the property in dispute.

Section 48 of the AMCON Act (as amended) empowers AMCON to appoint a receiver to manage the disputed assets belonging to Mr Ibrahim, who is also the Chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited.

Also, Justice Abang did not challenge the possessory powers of AMCON through a subsisting court order over the seized assets of Mr Ibrahim whose current indebtedness to AMCON stands at nearly N70 billion.

On November 4, 2020, Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had granted AMCON the powers to take possession of some assets belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and Company over alleged debt of N69.4 billion.

Despite stiff resistance by Mr Ibrahim, the debt management agency said it was determined to recover the debt from him irrespective of the long and frustrating legal battle he fought.

AMCON Spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor said it was characteristic for most of the agency’s top recalcitrant debtors to engage it in several legal battles hiding under some legal technicalities designed to delay justice and make the recovery of the debts difficult.

“Often, these big debtors resort to all manner of legal technicalities to frustrate the effort by AMCON to recover the debts they owe. However, AMCON is determined to stay on course and ensure that it does its job, because this is the money the country’s economy requires to rebound,” Mr Nwauzor said.

Mr Nwauzor said Jimoh Ibrahim has been battling to get the court to set aside the possessory order as well as the receiver appointed by AMCON to oversee the assets pending the final hearing of the substantive suit.

In November 2020, AMCON activated a court order that empowered it to seize properties belonging to Mr Ibrahim over alleged debt of N69.4billion sold to AMCON by Union Bank as a non-performing loan in the early days.

The affected businesses owned by the embattled businessman include NICON Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited.

The matter between Mr Ibrahim and AMCON has dragged for years since the loan was purchased from Union Bank since the early days of the debt recovery agency during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA).


Navy acquires 12 UAVs to improve fight against maritime crime



The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, on Friday,  said that the Nigerian Navy had acquired 12 Comstrac System Ovation Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve the fight against maritime crime.

Ogalla made this known at the commissioning ceremony of the UAVs and the adoption of the revised Local Operating Procedure and Local Training Order, held at the Naval Air Base, Ojo, Lagos.

The CNS was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Adm. Zakariyyah Muhammed.

Ogalla said that the surveillance UAVs would complement the already existing air assets of the Nigerian Navy, while supporting the surface ships and maritime domain awareness platforms.

“In an era where the nature of warfare is evolving rapidly, embracing cutting-edge technologies becomes imperative for enhancing our national security.

“These UAVs, with their advanced capabilities and versatility, will undoubtedly enhance our naval surveillance for furtherance of strategic capabilities.

“I have no doubt that this will rejig the Nigerian Navy towards better service delivery in the maritime domain of our dear country,” he said.

The CNS added that the Navy was expecting five more helicopters within the forst quarter of 2024 which would enhance its maritime capabilities.

“This will make safer waters for both local and international maritime trade,” he said.

Ogalla commended the Western Naval Command for innovative and dogged efforts toward maintaining credible maritime presence and curtailing criminalities in its area of operations.

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Gov. Radda suspends school principal for alledged sexual scandal



Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State has directed for immediate suspension of a staff of Ministry of Education in the state for alleged sexual harassment of a female student.
The directive is contained in a statement issued by the Director Press, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Abdullahi Aliyu-Yar’adua, and made available to newsmen on Friday in Katsina.
The statement said, “Gov Dikko Radda has received a report of alleged sexual harassment against one Lawal Ibrahim, now a staff of the Ministry of Education.
It said Ibrahim was the then Principal of Government Day Secondary School, Dantankari, Dandume Local Government area.
“In consequence therefore, the governor directed the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary School Education to immediately suspend Lawal Ibrahim and investigate the allegation with dispatch.
“Take appropriate action and report back to the governor.”
The statement further directed the Commissioner of Police to investigate the allegation.
“The Commissioner of Police should investigate the allegation, and to also investigate the Divisional Police Officer, Dandume, for compromise on the matter, and report back to the governor,” the statement said.
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Ogun Govt. places N50m bounty on killers of Oyekanmi, Finance Director



The Ogun Government has announced a reward of N50 million for any information that could lead to the arrest of the killers of Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) attached to Gov. Dapo Abiodun’s office, Mr. Taiwo Oyekanmi .

Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the State Government, announced the reward in a statement in Abeokuta on Friday.

According to the statement, Information provided would be treated with utmost confidentiality.

” Such information can be sent to the underlisted telephone numbers:
08032136765. ”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that suspected armed robbers on Nov. 29 shot dead Oyekanmi, and carted away government funds.

Oyekanmi had cashed an undisclosed amount of money from a branch of Fidelity bank in Abeokuta, and was heading back to the office when he was waylaid by the gunmen.

According to source, the gunmen, about five of them, shot the accountant dead at Kuto bridge in Abeokuta and went away with the government’s money.

It was gathered that Oyekanmi and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks, were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.

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