The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said it had sequestered 12 properties owned by the chairman of Global Fleet Oil and Gas Group and NICON Investment Limited, Jimoh Ibrahim, in Lagos and Abuja for his debt of over N69.4 billion to the firm.
AMCON declared in a statement on Wednesday that the confiscation came after Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division granted an order to that effect.
Pinheiro Legal partners, the debt recovery agent of the state-owned asset manager, executed the order on Wednesday.
“In addition to the takeover of the listed properties, the court also ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies including Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited all of who are defendants in the suit…
“The court also granted AMCON possession overall shares belonging to the embattled Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his two companies that are domiciled in Nigerian Re-Insurance Company Plc, NICON Insurance Company Plc, Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited, and NICON Trustees Limited,” the statement said.
The assets comprise NICON Hotels Limited building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja; the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; the building of NICON Investment Limited at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; the building of NICON Lekki Limited at No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos and property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja.
The rest are NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City; Energy House located on No. 94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a residential apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi Express Way, Apapa Road, Lagos, and NICON Luxury Hotel’s building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja.
AMCON, which was established in 2009 to buy bad debts from banks’ portfolios and pursue recovery thereafter, said the issue between it and Mr. Ibrahim had remained irresoluble since acquiring the debt from Union Bank. It had offered the debtor a number of exit chances but without any success, the statement said.
Mr. Ibrahim is arguably the most controversial businessman in the land, whose source of wealth has always been a subject of speculation and claims of corruption.
The business tycoon and lawyer, though never associated with a retinue of high profile and highlyp rofitable clients, has someone managed to acquire “crown jewel” assets such as the defunct Air Nigeria, the rump of a failed partnership between Nigeria and Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Lagos-based Median Hotel, NICON Insurance Corporation, Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI), and VGC communications.
But the highly controversial businessman does not appear to be having any fun at all lately. Apparently, his talent for acquiring capital, no matter how nebulous the origins and huge bank loans, has not been matched by managerial acumen with many of his primed businesses gasping for breath and his alleged huge debts pitting him against AMCON.