N1.5bn Debt: Court Orders AMCON to Take Over Firm’s Asset

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Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an order directing the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over the assets of a Lagos company, SAMOL Limited.

The asset seizure was ordered based on the firm’s alleged failure to pay its debt of N843,357,559.75 million. The order of the court was sequel to an application in suit number FHC/L/AMC/13/2022 filed before the court by the law firm of Trevis and Ansel Solicitors.

In the Enrolment Order dated June 8, 2022, Justice Aluko granted the prayers sought by AMCON to take over the following properties, property at

9/11, Oleleh Street, Ejigbo, Lagos with Certificate of Occupancy No 33 Page 33 in volume 1994C of land Registry Alausa Lagos.

The court also made an interim order restraining SAMOL company and Samuel Ngozi Oleleh from dealing with or alienating or parting with or transferring their title howsoever (whether by assignment, lease, mortgage or other third party interest) and any of the properties listed in relief listed before the court pending the hearing and determination of the AMCON’s substantive debt recovery suit against the defendants.

Besides, the court made the following orders: “An order freezing all the bank account to which the first and second defendants are signatory either alone or with any other person in other banks and financial institutions pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s substantive debt recovery suit against the defendants.

“An interim order restraining the 1st Defendant company, SAMOL Ltd from transferring, dealing with, sell, grant as gifts or in any other manner do anything or take any step(s) that will affect their shares by way of pledge, transfer, sale or any other action prejudicial to the interest of the applicant.”

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The court also granted an order directing the bailiffs of the court and the officers of the Nigeria Police Force and officials of AMCON to enter into the properties for the purpose of carrying out and executing the orders.

Besides, Justice Aluko directed the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of all the zones where the properties of the SAMOL company are located to deplore policemen  to secure and assist  AMCON in taking possession of the properties pending the hearing and final determination of the substantive suit against the Defendants.

In an affidavit in support of the application deposed to by Aminu Muhammed Idris, a credit officer in the office of the AMCON, he stated that SAMOL company on October 30, 2000, had applied for an overdraft facility of N30 million from the defunct Oceanic Bank of Nigeria Plc, which would be utilised strictly to fund purchase of cement from Dangote Industries limited.

He stated that Olele was to be the personal guarantee of the debt as security for the loan and had pledged that the said loan was to be liquidated in one year by bullet payment.

He added that upon a favourable consideration of the application of the company Oceanic Bank of Nigeria granted the company’s request.

He stated that by the terms and conditions of the offer of the facility, it was granted for a period of one-year, which was to be repaid by the cash flow generated from the company’s operations at interest rate of 22 percent per annum.

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He added that upon the enactment of the AMCON Act Oceanic bank transferred non-performing loans of the defendants to AMCON for recovery.

As at 31st March, 2016, the outstanding loan with the accrued interest stood at N1,597,414,991.73

However, in their Notice of Preliminary objection, the defendants through their counsel, Robert Clarke SAN & Ade Oshodi partners stated that the genesis of the suit, stemmed from a disputed debt allegedly owed by the defendants to the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc now Ecobank.

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