Business mogul and Chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has alleged that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) obtained by deceit the interim court order of injunction it got last week in respect of some properties, majority of which he said did not belong to him.
Ibrahim in a statement made available to newsmen said: “One question begging for answer in this case is how the corporation secured a second interim injunction when the first one obtained by the same institution has been discharged.”
He said on October 2, Justice Oguntoyinbo J. of the Federal High Court, Lagos in a matter brought by AMCON against NICON Investment and others held that “In view of the facts and a consideration of the fuller facts contained in the affidavit before the court, this honourable court is minded to stay proceeding in this suit pending the outcome of the suit before the state High Court.
“I believe that is just the best thing to do in the circumstances. Accordingly, the lone issue formulated for determination by the court is hereby resolved against the plaintiff (AMCON) in favour of the defendants (NICON INVESTMENT), and relief 2 is granted as prayed.
“In effect, the proceedings in this suit are hereby stayed pending final determination of suit no: LD/1074/2010 before Hon. Justice Oyefeso of Lagos High Court.”
Owing to the foregoing, he wondered how AMCON secured another interim injunction when the same court had stayed the said matter.
“Did AMCON’s lawyer inform the court of the Justice Oguntoyinbo order?” he questioned.
According to him, in the High Court of Lagos before Justice Oyefeso, Union Bank, in its statement of defence filed in court, had admitted that he (Ibrahim) had a deposit of over a £137 million.
He said the bank had prayed the court as follows: “An order for the sale of the funds standing to the credit of the pound sterling fixed deposit account maintained by the 1st defendant to the counterclaimant; the proceed of which shall be applied in liquidation or part liquidation of the judgment sum as may be awarded against 1st and 2nd defendant counterclaim.”
Jimoh explained further: “The amount is also contained in the statement of account issued to Ibrahim and published in THISDAY Newspaper. Vol. 13 No. 5692. The said pound sterling is three times higher than the amount borrowed by my companies.
“When Justice Oguntoyinbo J ruled on October 2nd, 2019, that the proceedings in this suit are hereby stayed pending the final determination of case no: LD/1074/2010 before Hon. Justice Oyefeso of Lagos High Court, was the said court, not functus officio?
“Union Bank also acknowledges another deposit of £125 million from my second company, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, making a total deposit of over £250 million 10 years ago and running at a five per cent interest rate, so who is owing who? My NICON investment admitted borrowing N26 billion to which £137 million was used to secure the bank’s said loan.
“Can AMCON sustain the interim order in the face of the apparent facts because there is no returnable date in the court file?
“Again, AMCON did not sign any undertaking for a temporary injunction in the events facts were misrepresented to the court as required by the rules of Federal High court.”
He noted that surprisingly, the lawyer on the record before Justice Oguntoyinbo was Yusufu Ali as counsel to AMCON, asking: “So when was the change of counsel done with the motion on notice with the interim injunction?”
He said the new counsel to AMCON, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, was the lawyer to Union Bank who opposed AMCON joining the case at the Lagos High Court.
He promised to take up the AMCON lawyer’s activities with the legal practitioners’ disciplinary committee “but not on the pages of newspapers.”
According to Ibrahim, Union Bank and AMCON cannot be pursuing the same matter simultaneously in two different courts.
He said he did not own the majority of the property attached by the interim order granted to AMCON, explaining that this shows the level of misrepresentation.
“The coming week will be interesting as judiciary integrity is on trial,” Ibrahim said, explaining: “AMCON cannot buy a loan that is collateralised with cash.”
Recall that AMCON, last week, said it has taken over 12 prime assets belonging to Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, over indebtedness of nearly N70 billion.
AMCON in a statement said it complied with the court order to take over the properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partners.
The properties include NICON Investment Limited building at Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Ltd building at Port-Harcourt Crescent, Abuja and the building of NICON Lekki Ltd, Lagos.
The others are the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited in Lagos; another Property in Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building in Lagos; Energy House at Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at Maitama, Abuja; a residential apartment at Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building, Victoria Garden City, Lagos, as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building in Garki I, Abuja.