Alleged debt: Court dismisses order freezing Jimoh Ibrahim’s assets

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At the resumed hearing of the applications to discharge the exparte order today, AMCON’s lawyer told the court that since the provision of the Federal High Court rules encourages amicable settlement of dispute, parties have decided to meet and report back to court within two weeks.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday, discharged an interim order granted to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON to take over some assets belonging to businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, over an alleged indebtedness.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka set aside the exparte order following an application by the lawyer to AMCON, Yusuf Ali, that parties have decided to explore amicable settlement of the dispute.

A sister court, presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu, had on June 14, 2016, granted to AMCON an interim injunction against NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim.

But, NICON Insurance Limited, Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Limited, Abuja International Hotels Limited and NICON Hotels Limited had in a Motion on Notice, filed by their lawyers led by Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) asked the court to set aside and discharge the exparte order on the grounds that AMCON deliberately failed to make full disclosure of all material facts before the court.

At the resumed hearing of the applications to discharge the exparte order today, AMCON’s lawyer told the court that since the provision of the Federal High Court rules encourages amicable settlement of dispute, parties have 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 agree that the exparte order should be suspended so that parties can explore the issue of settlement.

“We have an agreement that each of the parties will nominate one chartered accountant each that will carry out forensic audit of the account.

“Since, Union bank is the principal bank that gave out the loan, the accountants will meet at Union Banks headquarters and they are to report back within two weeks,” Yusuf Ali said.

Confirming the agreement, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim’s lawyers also urged the court to set aside the exparte order so as to give parties unfettered access to meet and report back to the court.

“We have appointed Adewale Folowosele & Associates and await that of AMCON and Union bank respectively. Consequently, I apply that the exparte order of June 14, 2016 should be discharged and parties will return back to court within two weeks,” Niyi Akintola (SAN) told the court.

In a short ruling, Justice Anka discharged the order and adjourned the matter till August 1, 2016.

Before this ruling, lawyers to Jimoh Ibrahim in their applications had told the court that the properties attached by the interim order belongs to certain persons who were not parties to the suit filed by AMCON thereby making it illegal, unlawful and contrary to the provisions of Section 28 of the NICON Insurance Corporation of Nigeria Act, Cap N54 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“We also submit that the only condition under which the hounourable court can entertain the application of a person who is not a party to the suit is when the party has first sought for and obtained the leave of the court before bringing the action,” Ayorinde (SAN) argued.

The applicants had in a 24-pragraph affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice deposed to by one Gbenga Onilude, stated that none of the properties attached in the exparte order belong to any of the defendants; NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim.

According to the deponent, the exparte order was obtained via suppression and misrepresentation of material facts by the plaintiff (AMCON) and it was obtained in bad faith against persons who are not parties to the suit.

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