To recover a debt of N1,609,626,330.62, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, has obtained an order from a Federal High Court in Lagos to freeze and attach the account of former Chief of Naval staff, Admiral Allison Madueke, domiciled in any of 27 commercial banks in Nigeria listed before the court.
Also affected by the order of the court presided over by Chukwujekwu Aneke are the former managing director of First Inland Bank PLC and Chairman, board of directors of Fin Insurance company Limited, Okey Nwosu; Galaxy Wireless Communication Limited, a technology wireless broadband internet services provider, and five of its directors – Engineer Gerald Nwosu, Alhaji Abubakar M. Garba, Ogudibe Vincent Ikenna Chuks, Fred Ibelo, Engineer I. Jasper and Fin Insurance Company.
The order of the court was sequel to an application accompanied with an affidavit sworn to by Credit Officer of AMCON, Mr. Godson Isia, filed and argued before the court by a Lagos Lawyer, John Duru.
Godson Isia in his averment, alleged that sometime between 2007 and 2009, Galaxy Wireless Communication Limited with the approval of its Board of Directors applied for and was granted various credit facilities from First Inland Bank to finance its telecommunications operations.
Admiral Allison Madueke is the Chairman board of directors of the company, while Engineer Gerald Nwosu is the managing director/Chief Executive officer of the company. Alhaji Abubakar M. Garuba is the vice Chairman, board of directors of the company. Ogudibe Vincent Ikenna Chuks, Mr.Fred Ibelo, Engineer I. Jasper are shareholders and directors of the company.
By an offer letter dated August 2, 2007, the Bank granted a facility sum of $2,000, 000 (two million dollars) disbursed in three tranches to the company to facilitate its telecommunication services. The tenor of the loan was 90 days.
The loan was secured by:
- An All-Asset Debenture of the present and future assets of the Company
- A comprehensive insurance of the equipment purchased with the facility denoting the Bank as First Loss Payee; Domiciliation of the company subscription payment with the Bank; Personal guarantee of Engineer Gerald Nwosu.
By a Board Resolution of the company dated August 10, 2007, the facility was accepted by the Defendants.
On January 28, 2008, another credit facility in the sum of N40,000,000.00 was granted by the Bank in favour of the Company. The tenor of the facility was 12 months at the interest rate of 19 percent per annum. The loan was also secured by the previous conditions.
The said offer was accepted by the company through its board resolution dated January 30, 2008.
On September 23, 2008, a further credit facility in the sum of
N327,600,000.00 was granted to the company by the Bank to facilitate a contract with the Rivers State Government. The tenor of the loan was 12 months and same was secured with:
- Lien on the APG funds of N327,600,000.00; Personal guarantee of Engineer Gerald Nwosu; and
- Counter indemnity from Fin Insurance company as a director.
The facility was accepted by the company through its board resolution dated September 24, 2008.
Following a request by the company, the Bank approved a credit facility in its favour in the sum of N1,354,320,000.00 conveyed by an offer letter dated May 15, 2009. The duration of the facility was 180 days.
This facility was secured with the following:
- An All-Asset Debenture of the present and future assets of the company; Personal guarantee of Engineer Gerald Nwosu.
- A comprehensive insurance on the equipment purchased with the facility.
- The Deed of Debenture between the Bank and the company.
The company through its Board Resolution dated May 15, 2009, accepted the above-mentioned offer.
However, Galaxy Wireless Communication Limited failed and/or neglected to repay a substantial portion of all the loan facilities granted to it upon the expiration of their tenor.
By the letters dated 24th August 2009 and 31st August 2009, the Bank formally demanded the company to liquidate their debts arising from the various loans granted it.
The demands from the bank went unheeded as the company failed and/or neglected to repay the loan within the specified period and consequent upon this default, the loans granted to the Defendants became toxic.
In addition, Fin Insurance Company Ltd, which accepted to indemnify the First Inland bank Plc on the credit facilities granted to the company failed and/or neglected to do so.
AMCON, in accordance with its statutory functions, bought the loans from the bank as Eligible Bank Assets.
By virtue of the purchase of the loans by AMCON, it became entitled to recover the debts from the Company as well as its directors, beneficiaries and guarantors in accordance with the provisions of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act as amended.
The outstanding debts of the company arising from the various loan facilities granted to it, as at the time of filing this suit is to the tune of N1,609,626,330.62 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Naira Sixty Two Kobo).
AMCON stated further that by acquiring the indebtedness of the company from the bank thereby being subrogated, it is entitled to exercise all the rights and powers with regards to the recovery of the debts.
AMCON is desirous of recovering the N1,609,626,330.62 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Naira Sixty Two Kobo) being the outstanding principal and accrued interest on the facilities granted to the company.
It avers that noting the protracted default of the Defendants to liquidate their indebtedness, it has become manifest that except the Honourable Court intervenes in this case; the Defendants will tarry in their default and in furtherance to this AMCON resorted to instituting this suit.
Consequently, AMCON claims against the Defendants are as follows:
- An order of this court freezing and attaching the various bank accounts of all the defendants excluding Fin Insurance
Company to the tune of N1,609,626,330.62 in 27 banks in Nigeria pending the determination of the substantive suit.
- An order freezing and attaching the account of Fin Insurance company to the tune of N327,600,000 in 27banks in Nigeria being the surety sum in favour of the company regarding the credit facility obtained from First inland bank Plc.
- An order of this Court granting to the immediate possession pending the determination of this suit to the plaintiff to take interim possession of the following properties which we have reasonable cause to believe belong to the Defendants/Respondents:
Property situate at No. 23 Kolda Link Wuse 11 Abuja
Property situate at Plot 1096 Kolda Link Wuse 11 Abuja
Property situate at No. 1A Luggard Avenue Ikoyi, Lagos
Property situate at No. 83 Ihioma road Orlu.
Property situate at No. 3 Gwani Crescent Wuse Zone 4
Property situate at Arcade Club Suites, Ground floor plot 68, 1st Avenue off Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
Property situate at Sugar Groove Sec 1, Block 2. Lot 14, Sugar Land, Texas. United States of America
Property situate at Sugar Groove Sec 1, Block 3, Lot 11, Sugar Land, Texas, United States of America
Property situate at 230 Simco View, S. W. Calgary, Canada
- Any other landed, movable, immovable, tangible, intangible. and/or traceable assets of the Defendants/Respondents, wherever found or situate within Nigeria; pending the determination of the substantive debt recovery action to be commenced against the Defendants/Respondents.
- AN ORDER directing the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Abuja Police Command and other officers jointly and severally attached to and under their command, control and/or supervision to assist the Plaintiff/Applicant in securing and taking possession of the assets, properties and undertakings of the Defendants.
- AN ORDER restraining the Defendants/ Respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, officers and/or proxies from interfering with, obstructing or otherwise disturbing the possession by the Applicant of the Respondents’ assets listed above, pending the determination of the recovery action to be filed in this suit against the Respondents by the Applicant.
- AND for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.
Upon reading through the motion, its affidavit of 40 paragraphs deposed to by Godson Isia of AMCON with attached marked Exhibit and written address signed by C. Nwachukwu and after hearing John I.Duru with D. Indang for the plaintiff moved in terms of motion paper, and having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, the judge ordered as follows:
- That an interim order is made mandating all twenty -seven banks and other financial institutions named before the court within seven days from the date of service of this order on them and to serve on counsel of the applicant an affidavit disclosing a statement on each account, however designated, held or maintained by all the defendants and all accounts to which all defendants with the exception of Fin Insurance Company are signatory prior to the date of service of the order.
- An order is made freezing and attaching the various bank accounts of all the defendants including but without being limited to all accounts linked to bank verification, to the tune of N1,609,626,330.62 in all financial institutions in Nigeria listed before the court pending the determination of the substantive suit.
- An order freezing and attaching the account of Fin Insurance Company to the tune of N327,600,000.00 in all the 27 banks and financial institutions in Nigeria.
- That an order directing the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector of Police, Commissioner of Police ,Abuja Command and other officers jointly and severally attached to and under their command, control or supervision to assist the plaintiff in securing and taking possession of the assets, properties and undertakings of the Defendants particularly at:
Property situate at: No. 23 Kolda Link Wuse 11 Abuja
Property situate at 11 Plot 1096.Kolda Link Wuse 11Abuja
Property situate at NO.1 A Luggard Avenue Ikoyi, Lagos.
Property situate at No. 83 lhioma Road Orlu.
Property situate at No.3 Gwani Crescent Wuse Zone 4
Property situate at Arcade Club Suites, Ground Floor Plot 68, 1st Avenue off Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
- That an order of this Honourable Court is made restraining the Defendants/Respondents, whether by themselves, their Agents, Servants, Officers and/or Proxies from interfering with, obstructing or otherwise disturbing the possession by the Applicant of the Respondents’ assets listed above, pending the determination of the recovery action to be filed in this suit against the respondents by the applicant.
- An order mandating all banks and financial institutions to furnish the Applicant’s counsel with all relevant banking relationship documents of all defendants including but not limited to the following: Account opening packages; Account mandate; KYC information, Credit files, including all statement of Notarized Net worth within seven days of service of this order on them.
However, in an application accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by Esther Ajayi and filed before the court on behalf of Admiral Allison Madueke by a Lagos Lawyer, Owukori Akuiyibo, seeking the order of the court to set aside the order of the court, made against the former Naval boss, the deponent avers thus:
- That she was informed by Admiral Madueke that he was informed of the existence of this suit from an associate on March 23, 2022 and immediately engaged a lawyer to carry out some due diligence on the suit.
- Upon careful study of the ex parte order, he realised that the said order was issued against him on the wrongful premise that he was in some way affiliated with Galaxy wireless Communication Limited company.
- He is not a director, shareholder, Chairman, board member, staff or in any form or manner associated or affiliated with the company, its registered executives or any other defendants in this suit.
- Upon an application by his solicitors, he procured the status report of the company from the Corporate Affairs Commission. The said report further establishes the fact that he is in no manner or form affiliated with the company or any of its executives or Directors.
- The ex parte order issued against him was premised on misrepresented facts.
- The issuance of the said orders against him has put his good name and reputation built over decades in disrepute and ridicule.
- The continuous existence of the said orders against him infringed on his constitutional rights as guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal republic F of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
Consequently, he urged the court to grant the application.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the former managing director of First Inland Bank PLC, Okey Nwosu, through his counsel, Barrister Onyebuchi Aniakor, in an application filed before the court denied ever being a director of Galaxy Wireless Communication Limited or a guarantor or beneficiary of the alleged loan.
He stated that the orders were sought for and against him upon deliberate misrepresentation, concealment and suppression of material facts.
In an affidavit sworn to by a litigation manager, Mr. Collins Ekeh, and filed before the court by Mr Onyebuchi Aniakor, Eke stated that he was informed through telephone conference by Gerald Nwosu that:
- Okey Nwosu was the Managing Director of the former First Inland Bank Plc before his removal by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria on August 14, 2009.
- By an application dated July 3, 2007, Galaxy Wireless Communication Limited in the ordinary course of business approached Finbank on a Loan Request of USD2 million and N40million, and for the purposes as are contained in the Company’s said application now, produced, by its letters dated the 2nd August, 2007 and the 28th January, 2008 to the company, and respectively headed, “Offer of Credit Facility”, Finbank conveyed its approval of the Company’s said Loan Request, and on the terms and conditions as are contained in the said Offer Letters.
- As provided under the terms and conditions of the said Offer Letters, the said facilities were duly secured by:
1. All asset debentures on the company’s current and future assets. Value of company’s assets as at date is about US$1.5m.
2. Comprehensive Insurance of the Equipment being financed, noting First Inland Bank PLC as first loss payee.
3. Domiciliation of company subscription payment in its account with First Inland Bank PLC.
4. Personal Guarantee of the MD/CEO, Engr. Gerald Nwosu supported by his statement of financial net worth for the full facility amount and charges.
* Whilst the tenor of the USD 2 Million facility was for 18 months from the date of availability upon the 15 Defendant Company’s compliance with the therein stayed conditions precedent, and disbursable, as to $600,000.00 (i.e. 30% of Invoice amount to be disbursed upon shipment) and $1,400,000.00 (i.e. 70% of Invoice amount to be disbursed 60days from Bill of Lading date), the tenor of the N40million facility was for 12 months from the date of availability upon compliance with the stated conditions precedent.
* It was not until the 24th August, 2009 that Finbank made a demand upon the Company, and, following the receipt of the Company’s letter of the 28th August, 2009 together with the attached copy of the Company’s Request for Outstanding Payment to the Rivers State Government, and notwithstanding the same, Finbank proceeded to issue its letter dated the 31st August, 2009 claiming “Indebtedness of N433,119,854 Dr …. to Finbank as at 31st July 2009”, and threatening to “report to CBN.
* On the 16th August, 2013, the bank by its letter of the same date to the Company claiming that the “Non-performing Loan of Galaxy Wireless Communications was taken over by AMCON”, and that the “outstanding obligation” was in the alleged sum of “N654,548,256.92”, purports to “demand for the immediate payment of all sums due.
* Whilst the Company’s accounts with Finbank are yet to be reconciled, the said credit facilities have remained duly secured and have been fully performing, and the company have continued to make efforts in realizing the contract proceeds owing by the Government of Rivers State towards the liquidation of the outstanding balance, if any, on the said facilities.
* The 8th Defendant, Okey Nwosu, was never a Director of the Company nor a guarantor and/or beneficiary of the said facilities respectively, therefore urge the court not only to discharge the order, but to strike out his name from the suit and indemnify him to the tune of N5million.