11 February 2013 – The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, has taken possession of three property in Lagos and Rivers states, belonging to Chairman of Bi-courtney, Mr Wale Babalakin, over a N13.5 billion debt owed Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank Plc.
According to a statement by AMCON, yesterday, the property were registered in the name of Roygate Properties Ltd and are believed to be owned by Babalakin.
The property are a high rise building on 43A, Afribank Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and two buildings at Plots 270 and 273 Trans-Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
AMCON said the action was in execution of interim orders granted by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke against Roygate Properties Ltd.
AMCON also secured an order from the court freezing the accounts of Roygate in 20 banks in the country.
AMCON said, “The orders were sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the AMCON in a suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1501/2012. Copies of the orders made on February 5 were conspicuously pasted on the gates of the VI house.
“Justice Aneke granted AMCON “interim possession of the property at 43A” Afribank Street, pursuant to a tripartite legal mortgage registered on October 14, 2010 between Roygate (the borrower), Stabilini Visinoni Ltd (surety/mortgagor) and Guaranty Trust Bank (the lender.)
“The court also granted AMCON similar possession over property at Plots 270 and 273 Trans Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The court restrained Roygate, its directors, subsidiaries and sister companies from transferring or dealing with any of its funds in 20 banks listed in the application, or anywhere else up to the N13.5 billion allegedly owed by the company”.
“Justice Aneke restrained the banks from allowing Roygate operate any bank accounts held by it in the banks.
“The court ordered the banks to serve on AMCON lawyers, within seven days of the service of the order on them, an affidavit disclosing the respondent’s (Roygate’s) balance on accounts held with the said banks jointly and severally as at the date of the order.
“Justice Aneke also ordered the Nigeria Police Force to assist in the enforcement of the orders, which he held, should subsist pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The Hon. Justices Aneke set Feb 19 2013 as the return date.”
In carrying out the orders of the court, AMCON said a detachment of armed policemen and bailiffs of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Friday evening, took possession of and sealed off Victoria Island property.
AMCON noted that similar order was given, a few months ago, to AMCON to take possession of some property and assets owned by one of its debtors, Tonique Oil Services Limited.
AMCON said it executed the said orders on Tonique Oil’s premises in Ikoyi and Gbagada, Lagos state with the assistance of law enforcement agents, lawyers and court bailiffs.
AMCON reiterated its commitment to ensure the resolution of all Non-Performing Loans, NPL, purchased in accordance with the AMCON Act.
*Mike Eboh, Vanguard