Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja who presided over the case between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim on Monday February 22, 2021 reviewed the order of January 4, 2021 without prejudice to the power of AMCON to appoint a Receiver.
In the same vein, Justice Abang did not challenge the powers of AMCON under Section 48 of the AMCON Act as amended to appoint a Receiver to manage the assets of Jimoh Ibrahim who is also the Chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited. He also did not challenge the possessory powers of AMCON vide a subsisting court order over the seized assets of Ibrahim whose current indebtedness to AMCON stands at nearly N70billion.
It is also on record that Honourable Justice R.M. Aikawa also of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had ordered AMCON to take possession of some assets belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and Co. on November 4, 2020 over the debt of N69.4billion, which the Corporation is bent on recovering irrespective of the long and frustrating legal battle.
It is not news that most top recalcitrant AMCON debtors perpetually engage the Corporation in a litany of legal battles and hiding under some legal technicalities that are designed to delay justice and make it difficult for the Corporation to recover the huge debts that would help the Nigerian economy to rebound. They resort to all manners of legal technicalities, however, AMCON is determined to stay on the course.
In the case of Jimoh Ibrahim, he 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. But Justice Abang treaded with caution as he refused to address the fact that AMCON reserved the right to appoint a Receiver over the assets in question. He also did not fault the possessory order of AMCON over the seized assets of the embattled businessman.
It would be recalled that AMCON in November 2020 following a court order seized the properties of the barrister Jimoh Ibrahim over an alleged debt of N69.4billion, which was sold to AMCON by Union Bank as a non-performing loan in the early days of AMCON. The affected businesses of the embattled businessman include NICON Investment Limited and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited.
The matter between Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and AMCON has been interminable since the loan was purchased by the government debt recovery agency during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Union Bank in the early days of AMCON.
AMCON is however not deterred to recover the nearly N70billion owed it by Barrister Ibrahim and his companies in the interest of the Nigerian economy and the public in general.