IS AMCON ABOVE THE LAW?
Just when an Abuja Federal High Court is set to deliver Ruling on 24/11/2020, the motion brought before it by Peace Global Satellite Communication over an ex-parte order secured by AMCON, the AMCON Receiver is threatening the obligor to move out of the property. This according to the Chief Executive of Peace Global Satellite Communication is even happening when the matter which has dragged on for years is now before the Supreme Court until AMCON recently went to secure an ex-parte order from an Abuja Federal High Court.
In a statement made available by Ovie Edomi, media Consultant to Barrister OREYE U.Livingstone, CEO, Peace Global/ Peace Hotels limited, the company , Peace Global in 2004 borrowed N 178 million to supplement the rolling out of wired phone. Out of the N178m borrowed, the sum of N162 million was paid back, remaining a balance of N16m on principal. There was a thunderstorm that destroyed the Peace Global Satellite Communications network, a development that made WEMA bank to attempt selling the collateral used to secure the loan but Peace Global went to court in 2009 claiming that WEMA Insurance Brokers failed to process their thunderstorm claim for 2 years.
This matter was already in court before the creation of AMCON but according to Oreye, WEMA Bank misrepresented to AMCON that balance on principal was N240m which made AMCON to buy the loan for N123m. But even then, Peace Global through the Chief Executive wrote to AMCON alleging false misrepresentation of figures until AMCON was joined by Order of Court in 2012 whereas AMCON was created in 2010 and the debt was bought in 2011 when matter was 2 years old in court.
As part of the efforts to pay the balance to AMCON, Peace Global requested AMCON to reduce the purchase price of the debt by ¾ hence WEMA Bank claimed that Peace Global was owing N60m on principal and N60m is ¼ of N240m and on the ground that WEMA could not provide photocopies of the instruments with which loan account was drawn down beyond N178m. As a result, the Debt file was sent back to WEMA through CBN but CBN returned the file back to AMCON. Meanwhile, the Suit was dismissed on the technical ground that Claimants failed to file the CMC forms whereas the Claimants filed the CMC forms but was yet to serve the parties hence Claimants’ Appeal was dismissed on February 10, 2020 but Claimants filed Notice of Appeal and served on AMCON on February 14, this year after 2 days delay due to unavailability of Certified True Copy of judgement.
According to Oreye, compilation of records was done by all parties including AMCON on June 16 this year shortly after the covid-19 lockdown. Thereafter the records were transmitted on June 19, 2020 to Supreme Court while brief of Argument has since been filed. Lamenting Oreye’s ordeal, his media Consultant noted that on July 24, 2020, without Oreye being served any court process, a bailiff of Federal High Court Lagos presented court order dated 9/03/2020 issued by Federal High Court Abuja which order expires if no motion on notice is served within 14 days of the Ex-parte order.
Motion On Notice was not filed within 14 days which expired on 23/03/2020. Writ of Summons was filed on 20/03/2020 and in the supporting affidavit, it was claimed fraudulently that the matter was not pending before any court whereas it was pending before Supreme Court. Oreye have since filed Statement of Defence. The Claimants’ 2 properties at Obadina Street, housing ongoing businesses were sealed with 15 heavily armed Policemen in attendance. Oreye’s residence was also taken possession of. Though, the Claimants have applied for the Ex-parte Order to be vacated and have served on the Receiver.
Meanwhile Oreye is being asked to pay over a billion naira whereas AMCON bought the debt for N123 Million and up till date WEMA Bank or AMCON has not been able to produce photocopies of the instruments with which Peace Global drew the account down beyond N 178 Million. Even then, for AMCON which took a matter which was pending before Supreme Court to Federal High Court Abuja, is now running away from the Ruling by threatening to seal up Peace Hotels if the company does not enter into agreement to settle the matter out of Court before 16/11/2020. All our plea for the Ruling to be given by the Federal High Court Abuja first, before settlement or sealing is falling on deaf ears. The AMCON Receiver equally asked the company to be paying profit made from Peace Hotels into their account and Oreye agreed pending the judgment of the Court.
Meanwhile the unanswered questions are:
1.Why did AMCON still go ahead to buy the debt at 123 million after warning in writing in a letter dated 31-01-2011, written by Peace Global, alleging that WEMA Bank Plc misrepresented the facts and figures to be N240 million outstanding on principal, whereas the outstanding on principal is N16 million ?
ii. Why did AMCON buy the debt, according to paragraph 16 of their statement of claim, on 30-06- 2012 whereas AMCON was joined to the suit by order of court on 23-02-2012 ?
iii. Why did AMCON go to Federal High Court Abuja, to file ex parte motion dated 11-02-2020, to take possession of Peace Global’s property including where the MD lives with his family whereas Peace Global’s right to appeal to Supreme Court within 90 days started counting on 11-02-2020 ?
iv. Why did AMCON use N421,983,448.90 as the index amount whereas AMCON paid only N123 million to WEMA Bank Plc for the debt and AMCON is not a profit making body or revenue generating body ?
v. If AMCON is a profit making or revenue generating body, AMCON should make its records of debts resolved so far public to see how much profit or revenue it has made and paid into the Treasury of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
vi. AMCON sources its funds from Treasury Bills which goes for about 6% rate of interest because it is guaranteed by the Federal Government and as such the rate of interest calculated based on the index amount should not exceed single digit.
vii. AMCON was created to make banks liquid and once debt has been bought and paid for by AMCON, the bank is not expecting another money from AMCON subsequently and as such AMCON cannot scheme to recover beyond what it paid for buying the debt and single digit of interest.
Oreye through his media Consultant called on the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, the Attorney General of the Federation to call AMCON to order and requested the suit at Federal High Court Abuja be withdrawn and let parties pursue their remedies at Supreme Court.