14 February 2013

Nigeria: AMCON - We Have Taken Over Babalakin's Properties

An end seems not in sight in the feud between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Group, Dr. Wale Babalakin, as the corporation yesterday insisted that it had taken possession of two properties linked to the businessman.

The possession, according to AMCON, is pursuant to the order made by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos in suit no: FHC/L/CS/1501/12.

AMCON said the properties located on 43A Afribank Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and Plot 270, Trans Amadi Layout, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State were pledged as collateral to the loans granted to Roygate Properties Limited, a company in which Babalakin is believed to have interest.

In an advertorial titled: "Caveat Emptor: Recovery of properties and assets," AMCON warned the general public against dealing with Babalakin and his companies in relation to the affected properties.

"Property at 43A Afribank Street Victoria Island Lagos, pursuant to a tripartite legal mortgage registered on October 14, 2010, between Roygate Properties Limited (borrower), Stabilini Visinoni Limited (surety/mortgagor) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (The Lender).

"Property at Plot 270, Trans Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State pursuant to a Tripartite equitable mortgage between Roygate Properties Limited (borrower), Homan Engineering Company Limited (surety/mortgagor) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (Mortgagee).

"The general public is hereby notified not to deal or have further dealings with Roygate Properties Limited, Stabilini Visinoni Limited, Homan Engineering Company Limited and Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin (SAN) in respect of the properties and assets," AMCON said.

Reacting to advertisement, Bi-Courtney raised an alarm over the withdrawal of a court case by AMCON.

Describing the move as treacherous BCL's spokesman, Dipo Kehinde, recalled in a statement the claim by Babalakin that AMCON's action to seize possession of one of the properties belonging to a company in which he is a director was premised on monumental fraud and an abuse of judicial process.

He said: "Consistent with this allegation and immediately after Dr. Babalakin's statement to the press, AMCON hurriedly withdrew the case that had been instituted by its alleged predecessors-in-title - Guaranty Trust Bank Plc ("GTB").

But in a swift reaction, AMCON's Managing Director, Mustafa Chike-Obi said it was not true that the corporation had withdrawn the case.

"It is not true that we have withdrawn the case. We will pursue this matter as vigorously as the law allows us. And we will ensure that he pays all the money he owes us."

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