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Why Justice Abang sets aside order empowering AMCON to take over Ibrahim assets

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday said reversed its order directing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over the assets belonging to a businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim.

Justice Okon Abang set aside his order made on January 4, over alleged N69.4 billion debt owed by the businessman to the ‘bad bank’ on the grounds that AMCON had concealed facts relating to the case to obtain an interim order to take over Ibrahim’s property.

The court, had in a ruling on an exparte application by AMCON on January 4, granted leave to AMCON to seize some assets belonging to Ibrahim in order to recover the said N69.4 billion debt.

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However, the defendants which include Ibrahim, his firms — NICON Investment Ltd and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd — had in another application prayed the court to set aside the order on grounds of “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts.”

In his ruling on the application, Justice Abang agreed with the defendants that AMCON concealed facts which robbed his court of any jurisdiction to hear the matter.

According to the judge, the ruling of a Federal High Court in Lagos delivered in 2016 which restrained AMCON from taking over the defendant’s property pending the final determination of the matter, is still subsisting and has neither been appealed against nor vacated, hence his order of January 4, 2021, is a nullity.

Abang further held that all consequent orders he made on January 4 regarding AMCON’s exparte application for the seizure of Ibrahim’s assets over the alleged N69.4 billion debt are vacated.

He also held that the parties in the suit will, at the next adjourned date, address him on whether he has jurisdiction or not to go ahead with the case.

Also on Monday, a Federal High Court in Lagos set aside an ex-parte order freezing the bank accounts of a member of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Clement Omeiza Baiye and two others companies, Verity Communications Limited and Verity Associates Limited.

Justice Onyetenu had on June 16, 2020, granted an ex-parte interlocutory injunction brought by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) against Capital Consortium Limited (1st defendant) and seven others over alleged N128.97 million debt

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