Vanguard (Lagos)

14 February 2013

Nigeria: Alleged N13.9 Billion Debt - You Are Lying, AMCON Tells Babalakin

Lagos — Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Wednesday, said that claims by Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, that he was not indebted to the agency, was untrue and accused him of lying to the whole world.

AMCON's counsel, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, made the clarification, when he briefed newsmen, saying that Babalakin's cumulative indebtedness to First Bank of Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank stood at N60 billion, noting that the debt profile of the businessman had been purchased by AMCON from the banks.

Agbakoba, who expressed dismay at Babalakin's claims of non-indebtedness, said the claim was not only unfortunate but was a huge joke, challenging him to go and settle his debt, rather than running from court to court to stop the agency from recovering the huge money he owed the banks, which AMCON had taken over.

Babalakin, had on Monday, said he was not indebted to AMCON and that the steps taken against him by the agency in respect of the loans he got from the banks was illegal.

He said: "Our attention had been drawn to publications in many newspapers, alleging that AMCON had taken over our property pursuant to a court order obtained ex-parte, alleging indebtedness of N13.9 billion. For the avoidance of doubt, we are not indebted to AMCON or any federal agency. On the contrary, we have a judgment credit of N132 billion in our favour."

Agbakoba expressed disappointment with the action of Babalakin so far, after Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos, granted an ex-parte order permitting AMCON to take possession of Babalakin's property at 43, Afribank Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

"I had written to the Inspector General of Police to confirm whether his officers were used to sabotage a valid court order. Mr Babalakin also barged into the venue of the conference organised for judges of the Federal High Court in Lagos with a team of policemen, and queried why he was not invited. In any case, we have filed a motion asking Justice Aneke to restore possession of Babalakin's property to AMCON."

He wondered why a private citizen like Babalakin could use policemen and thugs to take over his property, which a court had ordered AMCON to take possession of, following his indebtedness to the banks, which debt had been taken over by AMCON.

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