By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, adjourned until January 16 a suit filed by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) seeking to recover an alleged N924 million debt owed by Hardley Apartments, owned by former Nigeria international Nwankwo Kanu.
Justice Aneke fixed the date for hearing of all pending applications. The suit was initially scheduled for mention on Wednesday .
AMCON filed the suit in 2015 with Hardley Apartments and its Director, Ayoola Gam-Ikon, as first and second defendants.
The case was assigned to Justice Okon Abang, but, following his transfer to another jurisdiction, it was reassigned to Justice Aneke.
In December 2015, following AMCON’s application, Justice Abang granted an order freezing the accounts of the former Super Eagles’ captain and Hardley Apartments.
The order, which was to subsist pending the determination of the suit, followed AMCON’s bid to recover the debt.
In an affidavit by a Credit Officer, Mr Victor Igabor, AMCON said between May 2008 and January 2011, Skye Bank offered Hardley Apartments a loan of N520,457,000.
It alleged that the hospitality firm based in Victoria Island, Lagos and Gam-Ikon, could not repay the loan.
The defendants’ indebtedness as at October 15 was said to be N924,788,754.56, representing principal and interest.
AMCON, which bought over the loan, told the court that if the restraining order was not granted, Kanu’s and the company’s assets could be dissipated.
It sought an order attaching the debt due from Hardley Apartments as well as debts accruing from the defendants jointly and severally.
AMCON prayed for an order freezing all accounts belonging to the defendants jointly and severally in any bank or financial institution in Nigeria.
Granting the order, Justice Abang said AMCON could, in the interim, possess all the movable and immovable properties known as Plot 46, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, belonging to Kanu.
The court also froze all accounts belonging to the defendants jointly and severally anywhere and in any bank and any financial institution in Nigeria pending the hearing of the suit.
The case again came up on June 17, 2015, but was adjourned till October 15, 2019, due to vacation in the judiciary, after which it was adjourned to January 28, 2020, and assigned to Justice Aneke.