Businessman Jimoh Ibrahim suffered a setback in his long court battle to escape repaying N69.4billion to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/269/2022 in the case between AMCON vs Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim 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 neutralised from executing the said contempt proceedings order, which he obtained under questionable circumstances.
According to a statement by the head of corporate communications at AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, Ibrahim, NICON Investment Limited, NICON Insurance Limited, and Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation owe the federal government debt recovery agency a whopping N69.4billion with no intention to pay.
It said AMCON over the years had tried all reasonable and peaceful resolution strategies to recover the debt from Jimoh Ibrahim to no avail.
AMCON had approached the Federal High Court (FHC) in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/760/2021 to seek justice, and accordingly received an order from 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 management of AMCON, which led AMCON to challenge the said ruling by filing a Notice of Appeal before the Court of Appeal on March 14, 2022.
The matter between 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 has said it was determined to recover the outstanding N69.4billion debt owed by Barrister Ibrahim and his companies in the interest of the Nigerian economy and the public in general.