In a bid to recover an alleged debt of N356,668,24, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has dragged a limited liability company, Equip & Offshore International Limited, and three of its Directors before a Federal high court in Lagos.
The three directors who were sued alongside the company are Akinyemi Olugboyega Richard Fayose, Akinwunmi Fayose, and Adeleke Fayose who are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants respectively.
According to a statement of claim accompanied by a written statement on oath sworn to by the credit officer of AMCON, Blessing Nwankire, and filed before the court by Lagos lawyer, Barrister Oluwayomi Akinde, it was alleged that Equip & Offshore International Limited, a company registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act with registration number 343274 and address 1 Ahoada Street Rumiibekwe Port Harcourt Rivers State was a customer of the defunct New Nigerian Bank Plc (which metamorphosed into Unity Bank Plc, the predecessors-in-title to AMCON herein.
The 2nd Defendant Akinyemi Fayose being the Managing Director of the company facilitated the transaction between the defunct New Nigerian Bank and the company.
Nwankire avers that sometime in June 2003, the company applied for and was granted a facility (known as invoice discount facility) of N30,000,000 (Thirty Million Naira.)
The security for the said facility included among other things: all asset debenture and personal guarantee of the Managing Director/CEO of the company Mr. Akin Fayose.
Upon the defendants’ fulfilment of the conditions for drawdown, the facility was duly availed to the company for a tenor of 120 days which has since expired.
However, the defendants failed to liquidate the facility comprising of the principal and interest, despite repeated demands for the outstanding indebtedness by AMCON, the defendants failed to liquidate the debt.
Due to the inability of the company to liquidate the credit facility obtained from New Nigerian Bank Plc, the company, therefore, became indebted to AMCON to the tune of N132,648,210.70, the loan became non-performing and the indebtedness was subsequently assigned to AMCON under its statutory objective of reviving the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan of the company.
AMCON avers that it met with the company sometime in November 2014, where the defendants upon accepting their indebtedness offered to pay a paltry sum of N11,000,000 (Eleven Million Naira).
In furtherance of subsequent negotiation with the defendants, two First Bank cheques dated 16th December 2015 in the sum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) and N3,200,000 (Three Million Two Hundred Naira) only respectively were issued but both were returned without any value to AMCON for lack of funds in the said account.
Similarly, AMCON engaged a solicitor to demand the outstanding indebtedness of the defendants but to no avail.
The claimant avers that upon purchasing and acquiring the said non-performing loans of the company, Equip & Offshore International Limited from Unity Bank Plc, and after several demands for the repayment of the facility, it appointed Bamigbola Consulting as its Asset Management Partner (AMP) to recover the said non-performing outstanding loans from the defendants.
Despite the letter of demand and the subsequent efforts by the AMP to recover the indebtedness and get the defendants to pay, the defendants have failed, refused, or neglected to pay.
In furtherance of recovering the indebtedness of the defendants, AMCON discovered that some of the defendants have funds in certain banks, especially the bank accounts linked to Akinyemi Fayose.
AMCON told the court that it has then become imperative, due to the defendant’s unwilling attitude to liquidate the outstanding sum of N356,668,241.60 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Six Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira Sixty Kobo) only with interest at the rate of 20.5% per annum from 1st August 2022, to bring the extant action.
Consequently, in a vide application to the court “Without Notice” dated 4th August 2022, AMCON sought an order of the court to freeze the accounts of the defendants to the tune of N356,668,241.60 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Six Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira Sixty Kobo) only with interest at the rate of 20.5% per annum from 1st August 2022 among other reliefs. The said application was granted on the 12th of October 2022.
“It will not be in the interest of justice to allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the wealth amassed from using the funds granted as loan to the company by the eligible financial institution without intent to repay the said facility to AMCON,” it said.
All efforts made by its external solicitors and partners to recover the said debt through dialogue were to no avail as the debtors refused, neglected, and decided not to liquidate the amount owed and due to the claimant.
The defendants are not entitled to any relief, set-off or any sum at all against AMCON and the AMCON pleads Section 43(1) (a) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act 2010 (as amended) and further pleads that even if the Defendants will or have any cause the Defendants will not suffer any damages.
Whereof the claimant claims as follows: Declaration that the Defendants are indebted to the Claimant in the sum of N356, 668, 241. 60 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Six Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira Sixty Kobo) only with interest at the rate of 20.5% per annum from 1st August 2022.
- An order for the immediate payment of the sum of N356, 668,241.60 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Six Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira Sixty Kobo) only to the Claimant.
- An order for the payment of interest on the sum of N356,668,241.60 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Six Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira Sixty Kobo) at the rate of 20.5% per annum from 1st August 2022 till final judgment and post-judgment interest at the rate of 10% per annum until final liquidation of the entire final judgment sum with the accrued interest Cost of this legal action assessed at N5 million.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Daniel Osiagor adjourned the matter till 15th February 2023 for a hearing.