We Didn’t Demolish Ikoyi Property Of Arumemi-Johnsons Over N397bn Debt- AMCON

We Didn’t Demolish Ikoyi Property Of Arumemi-Johnsons Over N397bn Debt- AMCON


Post Views: 240 The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), on Monday, denied a newspaper report at the weekend alleging that it was responsi...

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), on Monday, denied a newspaper report at the weekend alleging that it was responsible for the June 12, 2020, demolished a property located at 27, Femi Okunnu Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

In a statement, the corporation described the report as a malicious misrepresentation of facts fed the media by Babajide Koku, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to mislead the Federal High Court, which is hearing the case.

Koku, AMCON stressed, did not however disclose to Justice Faji that the property now belongs to Ehimome Properties Limited, a company, which according to a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), belongs to Mrs. Mary Ehimome Arumemi-Ikhide, Martin Arumemi-Ikhide and Dr. Margaret Omoemin Okonkwo.

The property, the corporation explained further, “is one of the many assets hidden from AMCON by the obligor but, which was eventually traced and sold as mandated by the AMCON Act as amended to recover for the country.”

The shareholders and directors of Ehimome Properties Limited, according to findings at the CAC, it added, are wife, son and daughter respectively, and immediate family members of Sir Joseph I. Akinola Arumemi-Johnson, the main promoter of Rockson Engineering Company Limited.

The Arumemi-Johnsons, AMCON continued, are also co-owners of four companies that cumulatively owe the corporation over N397bn purchased from various Nigerian banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in the country.

“The companies include Arik Air Limited with debt of over N248bn; Rockson Engineering Company Limited, over N136bn; Ojemai Farms Limited with over N11bn, as well as Ojemai Investments Limited indebted” to the tune of over N2bn.

“The negative impact of this humongous debt to the Nigerian economy, which these companies and their promoters have refused to pay back are better imagined, if the federal government did not set up AMCON to go after people like this who are bent on destroying the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Once a property is sold by AMCON, the mandate of the corporation does not include dictating to the buyer what to do with the acquired property,” decrying a situation where Koku tries to mislead the public by claiming that AMCON was in anyway involved in the demolition of the Ikoyi property.

“What cannot be disputed, however, is the ownership of Ehimome Properties Limited owned by Mrs. Mary Ehimome Arumemi-Ikhide with 500,000 units of shares in the company; Mr. Martin Arumemi-Ikhide and Dr. Margaret Okonkwo both of who own 250,000 shares each out of a total of 1,000,000 shares, which makes up the total of 100% ownership of the company,” it stressed further.

AMCON said it considers the sentiment that the property (Old Cooper Road) was former residence of two British colonial Governors-General of Nigeria- Sir Arthur Richards (1943 to 1948), and John Macpherson served from 1948 to 1955.

 as insensitive currently when the whole world is protesting the ravaging impact of colonialism in African countries including Nigeria.

“These companies have ripped-off Nigeria for a long time because the debts have been owed AMCON since 2011/2012 and several genuine efforts made by AMCON to make these companies meet their obligations did not yield any meaningful result. This lack of progress was what led AMCON into throwing two of their companies – Arik Air and Rockson Engineering into receivership.

“Aside from these companies feeding off Nigerian taxpayer over the years, Rockson Engineering in particular has not been able to deliver on hundreds of millions of US dollar contracts awarded it for the construction of power generating plants by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company. Some of these contracts were awarded as far back as 2006 and if the company had completed these projects, like its peers did, a minimum of 2000MW would have been added to the nations generating capacity to the benefit of all Nigerians,” the corporation stressed further.

AMCON described itself as a law-abiding institution ready to do anything within its enabling law to recover the trillions of Naira some recalcitrant debtors are struggling to avoid paying.

It is not unexpected, the corporation continued, that some chronic loan defaulters will hide proceeds of loans in properties in the name of their spouses and children makes a provision for such properties to be applied towards liquidating the loan.