A Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged an interim order granted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to take over assets of Jimoh Ibrahim, over alleged indebtedness.
Justice Abdulazeez Anka on Monday set aside the ex-parte order following an application by counsel to AMCON, Yusuf Ali (SAN), that parties were exploring settlement options.
A sister court, presided by Justice Saliu Saidu had on June 14 granted the interim order against NICON Investment, Global Fleet Oil & Gas and Ibrahim, over an alleged N50 billion indebtedness.
However, NICON Insurance Ltd, Nigeria Re-Insurance Hotels Ltd, Abuja International Hotels Ltd and NICON Hotels Ltd had in a Motion on Notice, by their lawyers led by Niyi Akintola (SAN), and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) prayed the court to discharge the order.
They had argued that AMCON deliberately failed to make full disclosure of all material facts before the court.
At the resumed hearing of the applications to discharge the order on Monday, AMCON’s counsel, Ali, told the court that parties have decided to meet and discuss settlement and then report back to court within two weeks.
“In the spirit of good faith to show that we are doing this to promote equity and justice we agree that the ex parte order should be suspended so that parties can explore the issue of settlement.
“We have an agreement that each of the parties will nominate one chartered accountant who will carry out forensic audit of the account.
“Since, Union Bank is the principal bank that gave out the loan, the accountants will meet at Union Banks headquarters and they are to report back within two weeks”, Ali said.
Confirming the agreement, Niyi Akintola, and Bolaji Ayorinde, who led a team of other lawyers, urged the court to set aside the ex parte order so as to give parties access to meet and report back to the court.
In a short ruling, Justice Anka discharged the interim order, and adjourned the matter till Aug.1 for report.
Earlier, Messrs Akintola and Ayorinde, in their applications, had told the court that the properties attached by the order belonged to the applicants who were not parties to the suit filed by AMCON.
They had argued that this was unlawful and contrary to the provisions of Section 28 of the NICON Insurance Corporation of Nigeria Act, Cap N54 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Mr. Ayorinde had submitted that the applicants were neither borrowers nor beneficiaries and were not guarantors to the debt owed to the AMCON.