Home Judiciary | Parliament's Jimoh Ibrahim Loses Appeal to Recover Assets, Bank Accounts over N69.4bn debt

Jimoh Ibrahim Loses Appeal to Recover Assets, Bank Accounts over N69.4bn debt

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The Court of Appeal Lagos Division Friday dismissed two appeals by the Chairman of Global Fleet Group, Jimoh Ibrahim, challenging the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)’s seizure of his assets and freezing of his bank accounts over his alleged N69.4billion debt.

The appellate court upheld the November 4, 2020 order of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos which authorised AMCON to take over Mr Ibrahim’s assets.

The justices unanimously upheld the arguments of AMCON’s lead counsel, Dr Kemi Pinheiro SAN, who prayed the court to dismiss Ibrahim’s application because it was incompetent.

Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, is the counsel to the 1st defendant Jimoh Ibrahim while chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN is for 2nd Defendant.

AMCON had on November 4, 2020 through Pinheiro obtained an ex-parte order against Nicon Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and Jimoh Ibrahim freezing their accounts in various banks as well as attaching various properties of the companies.

The properties Include NICON Investment Limited’s Building at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited’s Building, Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja; NICON Lekki Limited’s Building, No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos; Abuja International Hotels Limited’s Building – No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; Residential Apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building, Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Ajah, Lagos and NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki 1, Abuja.

Following the execution of the order, Nicon Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and Jimoh Ibrahim through Akintola filed a motion at the Federal High Court dated November 19, 2020 seeking to discharge/set aside Justice Aikawa’s order.

Some other entities which AMCON alleged was linked to Ibrahim, including Nicon Insurance Limited, Nigerian-Re-Insurance Limited, Abuja Hotel Limited and Nicon Hotels Limited also filed an application asking the judge to discharge the said order.

After hearing the two applications and the arguments canvassed by parties through their respective counsel, Justice Aikawa dismissed both applications by his ruling of February 16, 2021.

Dissatisfied, both sets of applicants filed separate appeals at the Court of Appeal.

AMCON was represented in the appeals by Pinheiro while the first set of Appellants were represented by Akintola and the second set by Ayorinde.

At the hearing of the appeals on September 30, 2021, Pinheiro raised a preliminary objection to the appeal contending that the appeal was incompetent because the Appellants failed to seek leave prior to the filing of the appeal.

In a unanimous decision on Friday, the Court of Appeal upheld the preliminary objection of AMCON and accordingly dismissed both appeals.

The implication of this is that AMCON remains in possession of the properties attached by the order of Justice Aikawa on November 4, 2021.

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