Court orders AMCON to pay Babalakin N3bn for branding him a debtor

Babalakin

The federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to pay Bolanle Babalakin, chairman of Bi-Courtney Group of Companies, N3 billion for publishing his name as a debtor.

In 2016, AMCON published the names of 217 people who it tagged its chronic debtors.

In the case, FHC/L/CS/1296/2012, Ibrahim Buba, a justice of the court who presided over the case, said the payment would stand as compensation for damages.

Steve Omolale, the spokesman of Bi-Courtney, confirmed the court judgement to TheCable on Wednesday.

When contacted, Jude Nwauzor, AMCON’s spokesman, described the court ruling as strange.

“AMCON has 11 suits in various courts with Wale Babalakin (SAN) and his four companies in the aggregate sum of N54 billion, including Resort International Limited (N20.5 billion) and there is no doubt he and his companies are as at date indebted to the corporation and this much he admitted in pleadings and evidence in court,” he said in response to TheCable’s enquiries.

“The issue in this particular case with Resort International Limited was whether the amount/advance payment facility is a loan or an investment, which he secured from the bank.

“As you are aware the banking industry and the financial sector was put in crisis as a result of huge non- performing loans of  Obligors and their failure and or refusal to pay is what necessitated the creation of AMCON.

“The corporation would review the judgement and appeal to see to whether or not it could stand the test at the appellate level.”

AMCON and Babalakin have been in a legal battle for the possession of Federal Secretariat Complex, Ikoyi since 2012.

Speaking to journalists recently, Ahmed Kuru, AMCON’s managing director, had said the corporation would go after debtors who seemed to be untouchable in 2018.

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