Forfeited Assets: AMCON battles 3,000 Court Cases

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Forfeited Assets: AMCON battles 3,000 Court Cases

Ahmed Kuru
Ahmed Kuru

The Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, says the corporation has over 3,000 court cases at the instance of debtors, who are trying to restrain the corporation from foreclosing their assets.

Kuru, in an interview with newsmen during the week, lamented that instead of paying their debts, people are wont to rush to court, which he described as a plot by such persons to frustrate the corporation and buy time.

He said AMCON had taken over non-performing loans granted by financial institutions to 14,000 companies and individuals, noting that the corporation currently had a liability of about N5.4tn, 70 per cent of which was being owed by only 350 powerful Nigerians.

While calling for a reform of the judiciary to expedite the hearing of such cases, given the length of time some of the cases spend in court, Kuru said the corporation would no longer buy off non-performing loans as it was already winding down.

He said, “AMCON is supposed to be an intervention agency for 10 years, so, people go to court deliberately to buy time, not that they know that they are right. To some of them, that gives them the window to come and talk to you and they continue to stretch it.”

“We are a law-abiding corporation, so we have to follow the judicial process.”

“There are some cases that we inherited from banks that have been going on for the last five to 10 years and the possibility of those cases finishing in the next five years is also very slim.”

“I have more than 3,000 court cases. People take us to court every day. Part of the challenge we have is the judicial system or judicial process. In other climes, if you are a debtor and the financial institution takes you to court, that case would last maybe one week. They would ask you; do you owe and is it true you took the money? It would be ‘Yes or ‘No. So, banks foreclose very easily in other climes.”

“But here, somebody can take you to court; he knows he has taken the money, he knows he has not paid, but the constitution protects him, so he takes you to court and comes up with technicalities. If we can have a sharper legal framework that would target these 350 Nigerians, then we would be making very good progress.”

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