Following the order of Honourable Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court Lagos Division, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over an asset belonging to Safequip Nigeria Limited over an indebtedness of over N470million.
It would be recalled that Justice Agutoyinbo gave the order on March 23, 2020, at the peak of the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic granting AMCON absolute and exclusive possession of the property situate at No. 20 Babatunde Jose Street, in Victoria Island area of Lagos State.
In a related development however, Honourable Justice A.M Liman, riding on the order of Honourable Justice I.N Buba of the Federal High Court Lagos, also gave another order granting AMCON the possession of seven properties belonging to R.C. Omeaku & Sons Limited including commercial property situate at Egbeada, KM 4 Orlu Road; property at 14, Okigwe Road; 175 Tetlow Road; 2, Douglas Road, 13, Royce Road; and 2, Ogugba Street, all in Owerri, the Imo State Capital.
The order was granted to AMCON due to the company’s failure to settle its indebtedness of almost N340million owed to the Corporation, which has been a subject of litigation for some time now. In compliance to the enforcement orders, AMCON at the weekend took effective possession of all the above-mentioned properties as ordered by the court.
The cases of Safequip Nigeria Limited has been protracted because the loan was purchased from First City Monument Bank (FCMB) during the second phase of Eligible Bank Asset (EBA) purchases carried out by the Corporation in its relatively early days. On the other hand, the portfolio of R.C Omeaku & Sons Limited were purchased during both the first and second phase of EBA purchase from Union Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc respectively.
As is tradition with AMCON to explore all known peaceful means of resolution of such debts, the Corporation offered both companies and their promoters ample timeline and all sorts of support that would enable them repay the huge debt to no avail. The obligors remained recalcitrant and unwilling to repay their debt to AMCON, which led to both cases ending up in court and the eventual order in favour of AMCON.
Head Corporate Communications Department of AMCON, Mr Jude Nwauzor confirmed the enforcements when we contacted him.
He said the Corporation has deployed security agencies at the different locations to ensure that the assets are secured.
The AMCON spokesperson also hinted that the takeover is just a glimpse of the many heavy enforcements that would follow in the coming months given the amended AMCON Act 2019 that was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, which provides AMCON with additional powers in its enforcement activities.