Donald Duke, AMCON explore out-of-court talk over seized properties

Mr. Donald Duke

A former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, says he is exploring out-of-court settlement with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria in respect of an alleged debt of N537,334,360.77.

Counsel for the former governor, Edoigiawerie Omoruyi, told the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday that his client had already approached AMCON.

Omoruyi prayed Justice Nicholas Oweibo to give the parties the opportunity to talk.

AMCON’s lawyer, Austin Erhabor, confirmed the position, saying, “In the spirit of trust and fairness, we will concede to an adjournment to enable us to finalise possible settlement.”

Consequently, Justice Oweibo adjourned till September 11, 2019 for report of settlement.

AMCON and the United Bank for Africa had, on August 8, 2019, obtained a court order to take over Duke’s house in Ikoyi over the alleged debt.

The takeover order was made by Justice Chuka Obiozor, following an ex parte application marked FHC/L/CS/1373/2019.

Listed as respondents on the application were Stonehedge Investment Limited, Mr. Donald Duke and Mrs. Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke.

The applicants had prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property being No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.”

They told the court that the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the 1st respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants.”

They urged the court to grant them possession of the property “pending the institution and disposal of proceedings for recovery of debt against the respondent, pursuant to Section 49 of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act 2010 (as amended).”

They also prayed the court for an interim Mareva injunction to take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank “pending the institutional and disposal of proceedings for the recovery of a debt of N537,334,360.77 made up of the principal debt and interest against the respondents pursuant to Section 50 of AMCON Act, 2010.”

The judge granted the prayers, in addition to an order restraining the respondents from “transacting, transferring, changing or howsoever dealing in any manner or interfering with the applicants’ possession” of the Ikoyi property.

THE PUNCH

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