• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Court vacates order granting AMCON possession of MMA2

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday vacated an order granted the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over Terminal 2 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, in a ruling, upturned the order on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process since the order was obtained in the face of previous pending cases and specific orders, reports News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Justice Okon Abang of the same court had on September 22 granted receivership of assets of Wale Babalakin, Bi-Courtney’s chairman, to Olisa Agbakoba.

Agbakoba was appointed receiver/manager over all the companies of Babalakin, including MMA2, Bi-Courtney Ltd, Chartered Investment Limited, Resort International Ltd and Roygate Properties Ltd.

The orders were based on a N50-billion debt allegedly owed AMCON by Babalakin.

Justice Ibrahim Auta, chief judge of the Federal High Court, however, re-assigned the case to Justice Buba, who was handling previous cases between the parties.

At the hearing of the case, Wale Akoni, counsel to Babalakin, urged the court to suspend the interim order made by Abang which granted Agbakoba authority to act as receiver for the companies.

Akoni argued that the integrity of the court had been badly affected with the conflicting order and that there was a need for the court to act fast and stop the development.

He said the court had been scandalised by the orders of the other judge.

The lawyer said Buba had made specific orders restraining AMCON from appointing a receiver/manager for the companies.

“For AMCON to now secretly obtain another order at variance with a subsisting order from a different court is an attempt to scandalise this court and cause confusion,” he said.

Upturning the earlier order, Buba described the action of AMCON as nothing but that of a party who felt that a court can only “bark, but not bite”.

The judge added that it was clear from the processes before the court that his brother judge was misled by AMCON into granting the interim orders having failed to notify the court of existing orders.

Buba then vacated the order of Justice Abang holding that it was clearly an abuse of court process.

He, however, advised the parties to consider out-of-court settlement.

“I don’t want to talk much on this matter, but I wonder if lawyers cannot resolve this dispute amicably,” he said.

He adjourned the matter to December 9 for mention.