The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the palatial mansion of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, the former two-time governor of Kwara State, yesterday September 22, 2021, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the order of Hon. Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, over-indebtedness of nearly N5 billion.
In Suit No: FHC/L/AMC/01/2021, Hon. Justice A.M. Liman also ordered the former governor’s bank accounts and the bank accounts of his two companies, Trans Properties and Investment Limited and Trans It Consulting Limited, to be frozen.
The claimed takeover of his Ilorin property by a lawyer claiming to represent AMCON, according to the ex-governor, was needless and overzealous due to ongoing efforts to rectify earlier transactions with two defunct banks.
Ahmed detailed the dispute in a statement sent by his media aide, Wahab Oba, saying it stemmed from a margin loan he acquired from Intercontinental Bank and Firbank in 2009 for the acquisition of shares, which was subsequently jumbled in with unrelated loans obtained by others.
Ahmed revealed that the banks retained the shares as collateral to sell and collect the loans in a viral video documenting the takeover of his home by a guy claiming to represent the corporation.
He claimed that instead of selling the shares to recoup the loan amount, the banks shifted the loans to AMCON. Despite knowing the loan amount was in dispute and that reconciliation conversations were ongoing, Ahmed indicated he was in talks with AMCON to separate the obligations before the lawyer’s actions. Once the loans were disaggregated, the former ensured that he would meet any outstanding commitments.
One of the high-profile obligors of AMCON is the former governor, who is one of the founders of the newly founded third force in Nigerian politics known as the Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP).
By the court order, AMCON took possession of the former governor’s mansion located at Abdulfatah Street, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State, through the law firm of Chief Robert Ohuoba of Robert Ohuoba & Co, one of AMCON’s leading asset management partners (AMPs) who also received protective orders from the court. Mr Jude Nwauzor, the chief of the government debt recovery agency’s corporate relations section, corroborated the news in a press release. He described the operation as a success.
During the first wave of EBA purchases, AMCON purchased non-performing loans from the former Intercontinental Bank, FinBank, and Bank PHB on behalf of the previous governor and his enterprises, Trans Properties and Investment Limited and Trans It Consulting Limited.
The former governor’s obstinacy had thwarted efforts to reach a peaceful resolution of the loan, leaving AMCON with little choice except to seek justice in court.
AMCON was forced to begin asset tracing on Abdulfatah Ahmed through its designated law firm, Robert Ohuoba & Co., an exercise that disclosed the Obligor’s nine (9) properties in Kwara, Lagos State, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The corporation announced the Obligor’s nine (9) properties in Kwara, Lagos State, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, that they intend to enforce through their appointed law firm, Robert Ohuoba & Co.
According to the agency, the action is by Section 49 (1) of the AMCON Act 2019 (As Amended), which states: 49 (1)Where the Corporation has reasonable cause to believe that a debtor or debtor company is the bonafide owner of any movable or immovable property, it may apply to the Court, before or at the time of filing of an action for debt recovery or other like action, or at any time thereafter.
Other assets of the former governor, which the court granted AMCON possession over include: No 13, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere; No. 9 Wharf, Apapa, Lagos; Plot 3632, Cadastral Zone E27 of Apo, Abuja; Plot 4115, Cadastral Zone F14 of Bazango, Abuja; Plot 8502, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas, Abuja; Plot 494, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas, Abuja; Plot 719, Cadastral Zone E23 of Kyami, Abuja; and any other landed property in any place that may be found within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.