A team of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), led by its chief executive, Ahmed Kuru, recently led a delegation on a strategic visit to Nigeria’s Court of Appeal where they met with justices of the Court of Appeal, led by its President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
The visitors intimated the justices of amendments to the AMCON Act, which has expanded the definition of the obligors of AMCON to include the directors, as part of to recover the N5.4tr owed it by obligors before the sunset.
They called on the judiciary to support the corporation more at this time, especially the federal High Court, which is AMCON’s court of the first instance, as well as the Court of Appeal if the Corporation stands the chance of recovering the debt.
Highlighting aspects of the amended Act to the Justices, the AMCON boss said unlike what obtained in the past, in the case of an appeal, the appellant or obligor must now deposit the judgement sum in an interest-yielding account of the court. In the case of an interlocutory appeal, the appellant or obligor, he continued, will also have to deposit the total sum claimed by AMCON in an interest yielding account of the court.
He said the act has also granted permission to place bank account of debtors or the like under surveillance by ex-parte order of the Federal High Court; access debtor’s computer systems for the purpose of locating debtor’s funds by ex-parte order of the Federal High Court. The law now also gives AMCON the right to obtain access to debtors’ banking, financial and commercial information and Bank Verification Number (BVN) from banks by ex-parte order of the Federal High Court as well as impose an obligation on the Federal Government and Federal Ministries departments and Agencies (MDAs) to seek AMCON clearance before contracting with or making payments to recalcitrant debtors on AMCON debtor list.
Kuru added that AMCON is now empowered to demand from selling Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs), their directors or officers, delivery of information, books, accounts, records and documents in relation to acquired Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) as well as impose fines for failure on compliance.
The amended act, Kuru added, subject to Land Use Act and Section 36 expressly vests legal title to acquired EBAs and in collateral (tangible and intangible) securing such acquired EBA, and vesting power of sale, possession, management, etc., in AMCON to exclusion of all other creditors notwithstanding that only equitable security exists in such collateral, just to mention a few.
Kuru said AMCON at this point needs the support of all sister agencies and all arms of government because failure to recover the lingering debt of over N5.4tr will have huge negative effect on the economic development plan of the federal government.
Justice Bulkachuwa, while applauding the AMCON team for working very hard to get the Act amended, said it will go a long way to helping the Corporation in its recovery drive. She said it had always been the priority of the Court of Appeal to adjudicate justice as fast as possible, adding that the Appeal Court will continue to do its best to see how the court can fast track the processes of the court including AMCON related cases.
PHOTO CAPTION Sitting: From left, Justice Adamu Jauro of the Court of Appeal; Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON); Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Nigeria’s President of the Court of Appeal; Justices A.D. Yahaya and T.A. Wilson.
Standing: From left, Justice Idris Buba; Justice S.J. Adah; Justice P.O. Ige; Albert Nwanozie, Head, Legal Department, AMCON; Justice E. Agim; Joshua Ikioda, Group Head, Resolution Strategy, AMCON; Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications Department, AMCON; Godson Isia, Legal Officer, AMCON; Mr Mohammed Yusuf, AMCON MD’s Technical Assistant and Mrs. Vivienne Talsma, Inter-Governmental Department, AMCON when the Management of AMCON paid a strategic visit to the President of the Court of Appeal to discuss the 2019 AMCON Amended Act in Abuja…recently.