Billionaire businessman, Tunde Folawiyo, has approached the Federal High court in Lagos seeking a stay of execution after a judge ordered the Asset Management Company of Nigeria to take over properties belonging to him.
Mr Folawiyo, in a suit before the court, prayed the judge to restrain AMCON from the execution of the judge’s order pending the determination of his suit.
Lewis Allagoa, a judge of the federal high court in Lagos, on March 24 ordered AMCON to take over some of Mr Folawiyo’s assets over an alleged N727.9 million debt.
AMCON had sought a court order to freeze Mr Folawiyo’s accounts in 18 banks and the interim forfeiture of his property at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos,
Mr Folawiyo was allegedly instrumental to a N522.4 million loan from Spring Bank by Compagnie Generale de Logistique, where he is reportedly a director.
A 2017 suit between AMCON and Compagnie Generale De Logistique & Others led to the judge granting an ex parte order in favour of the former.
The interest payable on the N522.4 million totals the loan to N727.9 million.
Mr Folawiyo argued that he was not a party to the 2017 suit and was not served with the judgment on it.
He also argued that he was not a director of Compagnie Generale De Logistique at the time of the suit and was not involved in the loan transaction with Spring Bank.
Mr Folawiyo said as a result, he is not a “debtor” within the contemplation of Section of 61 of the AMCON Act as to warrant the interim forfeiture of his assets and freezing of his bank accounts on account of the 2017 judgment.
He argued that a combined reading of Sections 49(2),50(2) and 61 of the AMCON Act would show that only current directors of a company fall within the definition of “debtor” as to warrant the freezing of their assets or accounts.
The businessman accused AMCON of failing to disclose his status in Compagnie Generale De Logistique, the principal judgment debtor in the suit.
He also said the ex parte order obtained by AMCON is an abuse of court process, adding that the originating summons it filed is incompetent as it had expired at the time of the grant of the order.
He complained about the impact the order would have on his employees and the reputation of the three-generational family business he has worked hard to maintain and grow over the years.