Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) to take over an Ikoyi, Lagos property of a former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, over an alleged N537,334,360.77 debt.
The order was as a sequel to the granting of an ex-parte motion filed by AMCON and the bank. A firm, Stonehedge Investment Limited, Mr. Donald Duke and Mrs. Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke, were joined as co-defendants in the suit.
The applicants (AMCON and UBA) prayed the court for an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property situated at No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The applicants said the property was mortgaged by Duke as collateral in securing the firm’s indebtedness to them.
They urged the court to grant them possession of the property “pending the institution and disposal of proceedings for recovery of debt against the respondent, pursuant to Section 49 of the AMCON Act 2010 (as amended).
They also prayed the court for an interim Mareva injunction to take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank “pending the institutional and disposal of proceedings for the recovery of a debt of N537,334,360.77 made up of the principal debt and interest against the respondents pursuant to Section 50 of AMCON Act 2010.”
The judge granted the prayers, in addition to an order restraining the respondents from “transacting, transferring, changing or howsoever dealing in any manner or interfering with the applicants’ possession” of the Ikoyi property.
The judge also ordered AMCON and UBA to ensure service of substantive originating processes on the defendants within 20 days of making the order. Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to September 2, 2019.