Court rules tomorrow on businessman, AMCON suit

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Woman ‘dupes Bureau de Change operator of N4.2m’

A Federal High Court in Lagos will on Tuesday hear a motion by a businessman, Uche Francis Ubajaka, challenging the freezing of his account by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over alleged N208 million debt.

Two of Ubakaja’s firms–Grunz Link Nigeria Ltd and Pructton Associates Nigeria Ltd, as well as two members of his family, Ifunaya Theresa-Anne Ubajaka and Obiorah Benedict Ubakaja, were also affected by the freezing order.

They have equally filed a motion to challenge it before Justice Saliu Saidu.

Justice Saidu on October 30, 2019, froze several accounts of the applicants domiciled in Access, Fidelity and Zenith banks after granting AMCON’s ex-parte application.

Dissatisfied, Ubakaja and others filed separate motions through their lawyer, Chief Emeka Okpoko (SAN), seeking an order vacating and setting aside the freezing order.

In the motions, the applicants contended that the court lacks the jurisdiction to freeze their accounts.

They argued that the freezing order was obtained by AMCON upon concealment and misrepresentation of material facts.

According to them, Section 50 (1) of the Asset Management Corporation Act 2010 as amended in 2019 which authorises AMCON to obtain an order of court freezing debtors’ accounts is not applicable to them.

It was averred that the freezing order was made in breach of Sections 36 (5), 43 and 44 (2) (k) of the Constitution and is therefore void.

Ubajaka contended that he had challenged the purported debt in the High Court of Lagos State in suit number; LD/59/2013 and is currently a subject of an appeal in suit No: CA/L/1232/18.

In a further amended statement of claim attached to his suit at the High Court, Ubajaka averred that on August 2007, he secured a loan facility of N52.1 million from First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to purchase shares from the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He added that he also secured another facility of N116.7 million from the bank for similar purpose on 13th March 2008.

Ubajaka further disclosed that he provided N22.4 million as equity contribution in respect of the N52.1 million facility while he also provided N50 million as equity contribution for the N116.7 million facility.

The businessman further averred that it was agreed that he will use the money to buy shares while the bank will hold on to the shares as collateral for its investment. He added that following the agreement, he paid N1.6 million representing management, facility and processing fees.

It was further averred that the bank later appointed its sister company, Fin Bank Securities and Asset Management Ltd to manage the investment and upon the purchase of the shares, both of them took charge of everything.

AMCON is insisting that the freezing order secured on the businessman’s account was in order.

The agency in its counter affidavit to Ubakaja’s motion said the court has the jurisdiction to make the order

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