N537m Debt: Ex-Gov Donald Duke settles AMCON, recovers house
The Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged its August 8, 2019 order, which empowered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to take over an Ikoyi property of a former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, over an alleged debt of N537,334,360.77.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo discharged the takeover order on Wednesday after the parties presented him with their terms of settlement of the case.
The parties had on September 2 told the judge that they were exploring an out-of-court settlement and pleaded for an adjournment to enable them to conclude settlement talks.
When they returned to court on Wednesday, AMCON’s lawyer, Juliet Benson, told Justice Oweibo that Duke had met the terms of settlement agreed upon by the parties.
Duke’s lawyer, Edoigiawerie uyi, said his client had shown good faith by paying over N350m.
The two lawyers urged the judge to adopt the terms of settlements agreed upon by their clients as the judgment of the court in the case.
Justice Oweibo, in a short ruling, granted their prayers and discharged the August 8 takeover order.
AMCON and the United Bank for Africa had on August 8, 2019 obtained the takeover order from 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).”