A new route to recover the over N5 trillion debt owned the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) by its debtors most of whom occupy elective offices may be a collaboration between the company and security agencies.
According to a Federal High Court judge, Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun, AMCON should partner with other agencies of the government to stop its debtors from gaining access to political positions by barring them from contesting in elections.
Justice Olatoregun disclosed this while speaking as chairperson at a one-day seminar for External Solicitors and Asset Management Partners (AMPs) of AMCON and organised by the firm of Legal Academy.
She urged AMCON to send a comprehensive list of its obligors to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC); Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Department of State Security (DSS); Nigerian Police, among other sister agencies of the government, to stop them from contesting elections or taking up leadership positions in the country.
She said with this strategy, lawyers can approach the court and get orders stopping such obligor candidates from seeking votes from Nigerians thereby helping the Nigerian economy.
According to her, lawyers need to understand that the over N5 trillion owed AMCON belongs to all Nigerians including the lawyers meaning that recovering the outstanding debt will have huge positive impact on the development of the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is in our constitution that people of questionable characters and criminals should not contest elections but we are yet to see confident lawyers that can come out and challenge these people beyond reasonable doubt that they are not eligible to stand for elections as a result of their heavy indebtedness,” she said.
She noted that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) (Amendment) Act 2019 has opened new doors, which lawyers can explore to help AMCON and Nigeria recover its huge debts.
On his part, managing director and chief executive officer, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Lawan Kuru in his welcome remarks lamented the huge outstanding debt of the corporation of over N5 trillion, which will eventually become a burden to the federal government of Nigeria if at sunset AMCON failed to recover.
He said the interaction was very important to AMCON because, besides being a regular interaction, which produces positive result in the quest to recover AMCON’s indebtedness, the seminar was the first since the amendment of the Act by the National Assembly, which has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The AMCON boss while noting that the amended Act has provided additional powers to an already strong Act of AMCON said, “It was a challenging process, but we owe a debt of gratitude to the National Assembly and indeed President Muhammadu Buhari, for their courage and for putting the issue to rest and making the AMCON (Amendment No. 2) Act, 2019 a thing of the past.”
Kuru explained that it was not unusual to periodically amend the law that governs activities of organisations such as AMCON, to deal with obligors that constantly try to avoid, circumvent and totally deny commitments and obligations. However, the amendment according to him, can only be effective to the extent that solicitors of AMCON understand the Act and thereafter utilise the far-reaching powers that have been vested in the Corporation.