- A Lagos business man, Edward Akinlade is accusing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigera (AMCON) violating court order
- The businessman said the agency had flouted several court injunctions against it and proceeded to take over his property
- He said their performing loan of N26 million was sold to AMCON by a bank for N8.3 billion and they had won every court case against the agency
A real estate developer in Lagos and Chairman, Suru Group of Companies, Edward Akinlade, has sent a Save our Souls (SoS) to the Federal and Lagos State governments to intervene in a dispute between his company and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.
The duo has for several years locked horns over ownership of Best Western Hotel, located on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos.
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The beginning of a protracted legal battle
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, Akinlade challenged AMCON over alleged impunity and distorting the structure of the hotel, which it forcefully seized and is still in its possession, against the law.
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Akinlade traced the protracted crisis to 2010 when his company was banking with Ecobank.
“Our N13 billion fund was cancelled after we had drawn N10 billion. About this time, we had already bought our properties in GRA, Opebi and Best Western Hotel.
“We were servicing our loan until our performing loan was sold to AMCON. AMCON was not supposed to buy servicing loans.
“So, we sued Ecobank for selling our loan, and this case is still at the Federal High Court.
We had no case with AMCON
Akinlade states that AMCON counterclaimed the case and said they had owed N26 million. It was later discovered that Ecobank had sold the loan to AMCON for N8.3 billion without notifying them.
“We want it to be on record that we have never taken AMCON to court. This is because we believe we have no business with AMCON but the bank which sold our active loan to the agency.
“As we speak, all the cases we had and won, were filed by AMCON and the three different suits were all won by Suru Group.”
Not above the law
According to the businessman, they are particularly dissatisfied with the blatant disregard for the rule of law displayed by a highly revered agency of government like AMCON, and Ahmed Kuru being a mechanism in the temple of justice that ought to respect and uphold the tenets of law rather than disrespect the court.
He said his company had won all the cases instituted against it by AMCON, which has also appealed its loss at the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court but wondered why it is in a hurry and not waiting for the apex court to rule on the matter brought before it.
He further stated
“While the case is at the Supreme Court, you can see what they are doing; illegality upon illegality. They cannot sell the property; they cannot renovate it because it is against the law.”
Akinlade, who is not opposed to a peaceful resolution of the matter, lamented that apart from flouting court rulings, the government agency has also ignored interventions, even by the Attorney general of the country and the House of Representatives and gone ahead to be reconstructing the hotel edifice.
“In the last one year, the Attorney General was involved, Public Hearing of the House of Representatives has been involved, AMCON ignored all of them. They didn’t come. And when a resolution was reached through the Attorney General’s Office, AMCON said no,” Akinlade said.
“This hotel is supposed to be sealed. No work is expected to be taking place here but AMCON is in its possession. So, I came here to state our position. Our position is very clear. AMCON said we owed them money and we claimed we didn’t owe them anything.
“They sued us in the Federal High Court before Justice Hassan. We won the case. They appealed to the court of appeal; we also won at the appeal court. They have further appealed at the Supreme Court. The case is coming up in September.
“No work is expected to be taking place here. But AMCON seems to have demolished a substantial part of the hotel, the windows, the floors, and everything. Also, the Lagos State said the building is in danger of falling.”
Akinlade accused AMCON of killing businesses and impoverishing the people.
He said that the agency has distorted his hotel that was worth over N6 billion and reduced the value to N500 million, saying that over 500 people were working in this hotel up till December 2017 when AMCON invaded it with guns without a court order.
Akinlade stated that he is confused regarding what is ongoing in the hotel and pleaded for intervention from both the Federal and Lagos State governments and lamented how AMCON has proved to be above the law and continued to act with impunity.
“Are they the ones working at the hotel? The question now is who owns the hotel? Have they sold the hotel? Who is working there? For what purpose? If we have gotten the Court of Appeal’s ruling in our favour, why are they here? AMCON needs to provide answers to all these.
“I am appealing again to the Attorney General of Nigeria, I am appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to call Ahmed Kuru to order because if this hotel falls and people die, I would not be held responsible.”
AMCON ready to disgrace 7,912 Nigerians who are notorious Bank debtors, posing as rich men, women
Recall that Legit.ng has reported that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is set to publish the names of 7,912 chronic debtors who have failed to repay the loans collected from banks in the excess of N4.4 trillion.
The move follows the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum given by the National Assembly to debtors to regularise their debt status with the bad debt manager.
Senate committee chairman on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, Senator Uba Sani, had told instructed AMCON in December 2020, that after a month the names of all debtors including Nigerians in high places should be publish.