From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) at the weekend took over an asset belonging to Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, the Chief Promoter of Inducon Nigeria Limited over a staggering indebtedness of over N1.3billion.
The move follows the order of Honourable Justice Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The federal company also rebutted media reports that it has detained 344 female students of Providence High School, located on Independence Layout in Enugu State, describing the skewed report as unfortunate.
Spokesman of AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, who made the disclosures in a statement added that the property is situated at Plot 12, Block 108 Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, Lagos and was taken over through its Debt Recovery Agent – Ogunsola Shonibare L.P.
The Court, he added, also ordered that the bank accounts of the company and its Directors, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, Mr. Olawole Fatimilehin and Ademola Buraimoh be frozen pending the final determination of the suit.
According to Nwauzor, the case of Inducon Nigeria Limited and its promoters has been interminable shortly after the loan was purchased by AMCON during the 1st phase of Eligible Bank Asset (EBA) purchases from the defunct FinBank (now FCMB) since 2011. “Since the purchase, AMCON has offered the obligor several concessions and explored all avenues to resolve the debt harmoniously, but the obligor and his company have remained recalcitrant and unenthusiastic to repay the huge debt to AMCON. “They have consistently reneged on several promises they made in the past during negotiations. This prompted the debt recovery agency evoke the Corporation’s asset tracing powers granted it under the AMCON (Amendment No. 2) Act, 2019”, he said.
He added that all avenues of peaceful resolution were explored to no avail before the hard decision was taken. He emphasised that the enforcement option is usually the last resort for the Corporation whenever a recalcitrant obligor decides to be unreasonable.
On the allegations of detaining students, Nwauzor said: “AMCON does not shut down schools because the Management of AMCON understands the strategic importance of that sector to the country.
“This is not the first time AMCON is having to enforce on a school. Some years back a certain high-profile school in the Lekki area of Lagos State was also enforced on but AMCON did not shutdown the school or detain the students until the issues were amicably settled.
“The same enforcement approach was deployed at the school in Enugu by going there to place AMCON’s possessory signboard on the wall of the school and on the gate. It is therefore difficult to understand how writing on the fence of the school, which is outside the school premises and placing a small AMCON sign amounted to disrupting school activities and detaining the students.
“Aside that, the school authorities were approached before the signs were placed, the students, some of whom were in their hostels and their various classes did not know that any enforcement exercise even took place”, he added.