AMCON plans assets seizure over recalcitrant debtors

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Nigeria’s bad debt resolution agency, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), plans an all-out seizure of assets of recalcitrant debtors in the weeks ahead as the agency seeks to recover some N5 trillion locked up in bad debts purchased during a bailout period for the banking sector.

A source in the know of the operations of the agency at the weekend stated that AMCON would seize more assets of recalcitrant debtors in the weeks ahead as the agency and its professional partners tighten legal noose on debtors and their assets

The source stated that the agency would be leveraging on the additional powers granted it under its amended Act, which provides the agency with wider power for prosecution and enforcement against the debtors.

AMCON at the weekend took over the assets of Mr. Ike Nwabuoku, the Chief Promoter of Unicorn Place & Leisure Services Limited over outstanding indebtedness of over N1.3 billion. The takeover followed the order of Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos division.

In compliance to the enforcement order, AMCON took effective possession of two properties through its Debt Recovery Agent – Kayode Ajekigbe of Chris O. Okunowo & Co, which included properties situated at 1 & 2, Kwara Street, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and Plot 23 Block 65, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, both in Lagos State.

The court also ordered that the bank accounts of the company and its major stakeholders, Ike Nwabuoku and one other Ifechukwu A. Onyema, be frozen pending the final determination of the suit.

The takeover of Unicorn Place & Leisure Services came on the heels of similar takeover of two buildings belonging to Doggi Group Limited in high-brow areas of Asokoro and Katampe Hills in Abuja over the firm’s indebtedness.

AMCON noted that the case of Unicorn Place & Leisure Services and its promoters had been interminable because the loan was purchased by AMCON during the first phase of its Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Keystone Bank since 2011.

According to AMCON, since the purchase, it had offered the obligor various concessions and explored  avenues to resolve the debt harmoniously, but the obligor and his company Unicorn Place & Leisure Services have remained recalcitrant and unenthusiastic to repay the huge debt to AMCON.

Head, Corporate Communications, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON),  Jude Nwauzor, said all avenues of peaceful resolution were explored to no avail before AMCON made the hard decision, which led to the eventual takeover of the assets.

He said AMCON before now held several meetings with the obligor and arrived at agreements in principle, but the obligor always made a turnaround to default, leaving AMCON with no other option than to approach the court and in the wisdom of the honourable court secured the order to take over.

He assured that even with the rampaging cases of the Coronavirus pandemic, AMCON has no intention of slowing down in achieving its recovery mandate.

Source: THE NATION

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