These are not the best of times for Lagos billionaire businessman, Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo, as a Federal High Court sitting in the state has granted an order for the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over his valuable assets over an unpaid N727.9 million debt.
The court order was sequel to an application filed before the court by the law firm of Seun Omotoba.
Barrister Amobi Agu, moving a written address in support of the application, had urged the court to grant the following request:
“An order of the Honourable Court, granting leave to the Applicant to take interim possession of the property of the Respondent pending final determination of this suit;
“An order of the Honourable Court compelling the Respondent, his agents, servants and creditors to deliver to the Applicant possession of all his assets, bank accounts or any other asset wherever located in satisfaction of the Judgment of the Honourable Court delivered by Honourable Justice Ibrahim Buba in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/207/17 dated the 30th Day of October 2017 with accruing interest.
“An order of the Honourable Court compelling the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) other subordinates jointly and severally attached to him, and under his authority, control and/or supervision to assist the Applicant in securing and/or preserving the shares listed in the name of the Respondent on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“An order of the Honourable Court freezing the Bank accounts of the Respondent maintained with the following banks: Access Bank Plc, Citibank of Nigeria Limited; Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc; Ecobank Nigeria Limited; Enterprise Bank Limited; Fidelity Bank Plc; First Bank of Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Limited, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
“An order of the Honourable Court granting leave to the Applicant to take interim possession of the property of the Respondent at Block 138, plot 13, Tunde Joda Drive, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State all of which belongs to the Respondent/debtor pending final determination of this suit. And for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”
The presiding Judge, Lewis Allagoa after listening to the submission and written address filed before the court by Barrister Amobi Agu, granted the orders as prayed.
The case was further adjourned till 16th of May, 2022.
In an affidavit in support of motion papers sworn to by a staff of AMCON, vested with the responsibility to recover the debt against the defendant, Jania Ochonogo and filed before the court by Seun Omotoba, it was alleged that by a letter dated February 05, 2004, that Spring Bank offered Companies de Logistic Nigeria Limited, a credit facility of N250 million for Duty payment/clearing cost for blue-chip companies; Door-to-door logistics; and finance of confirmed/unconfirmed letters of credit for blue-chip companies based on irrevocable Local purchase orders LPO.
Mr. Folawiyo is a director of Compagnie de Logistic (NIG) limited who was appointed by a valid resolution of the board of directors on 11t September, 2000.
The credit facility was granted to the Companies de Logistic Nigeria Limited Company by Spring Bank based on the personal guarantee and representation of one of the Directors that cheques would be issued from time to time to fully liquidate the facility through proceeds from LPO domiciled with the Bank.
AMCON acquired the Company’s loan from Spring/Enterprise Bank and the outstanding balance as at January1,2011 was N292,304,900.00 and the amount has grown to N533,396,381.11
The Companies de Logistic company received the full complement of the sum of N250 million as approved facility.
The loan agreements between the bank and the company had since expired and sums therein are due for repayment.
AMCON demanded the repayment.
By a Writ of Summons dated 14th day of February, 2017 in suit number FHC/L/CS/207/17, AMCON commenced an action against Compagnie Generale De Logistique (NIG) Limited and the defendants, claiming =N=522,464,978.66.
This was the total outstanding debt due and payable to AMCON on a loan advanced to the Respondent’s company at 23% interest per annum from the date of filing the suit till judgment and thereafter at the rate of 10% per annum until final liquidation.
AMCON equally filed a Motion on Notice dated the 16th August,2017 praying the Court to enter final Judgment in default of appearance as per its reliefs in the Statement of Claim.
On the 30th October, 2017 the Court granted the said reliefs sought by AMCON in the said Motion on Notice and entered Judgment in favour of AMCON against the respondents in the sum of N522,464,978.66 at 23% interest per annum from the date the case was filed and till when Judgement will be delivered and thereafter at the rate of 10% per annum until final liquidation of the debt.
The Judgment Sum due from Folawiyo to AMCON as at February, 2020 was N=727, 967,870.03, being the outstanding judgment sum delivered by the Court on the 30th October, 2017 when the interest element is applied on the judgment sum.