By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos
THE Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/269/2022 in the case between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) vs Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim has ruled that all proceedings including the contempt proceedings initiated by Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and co at the trial court should be stayed pending the hearing, and determination of the substantive appeal.
The application for stay was argued on behalf of AMCON by their defence counsel A.U. Mustapha SAN & Co on March 30, 2022, and after listening to the arguments, the Court of Appeal delivered its ruling on Friday April 22, 2022. With that ruling, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and Co have been again neutralized from executing the said contempt proceedings order, which he obtained under questionable circumstances.
Recall that Jimoh Ibrahim, NICON Investment Limited, NICON Insurance Limited, Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation owe the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) a whopping N69.4billion with no intention whatsoever to pay. AMCON over the years had tried all reasonable and peaceful resolution strategies to recover the debt from Jimoh Ibrahim to no avail.
As a responsible debt recovery agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, AMCON approached the Federal High Court (FHC) in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/760/2021 to seek justice, and accordingly received an order of the trial court to take over the businesses of Jimoh Ibrahim. AMCON further received the backing of the trial court to appoint a Receiver/Manager to oversee the businesses on behalf of AMCON.
Following the trial court’s ruling, Jimoh Ibrahim, claimed that he was directed by the court on March 9, 2022, to commence contempt proceedings against the Executive Management of AMCON, which led AMCON to challenge the said ruling by filling Notice of Appeal before the Court of Appeal on March 14, 2022.
The matter between Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and AMCON has been interminable since the loan was purchased by the government debt recovery agency during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Union Bank in the early days of AMCON. AMCON is however not deterred to recover the outstanding N69.4billion debt owed it by Barrister Ibrahim and his companies in the interest of the Nigerian economy and the public in general.