‘Judiciary can facilitate efficient debt recoveries’
From the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, came a reassuring verdict that the Judiciary has all it takes to not only recover debts, but turn the economy around.
The justice however, said that it will only take proper understanding of the concept and operations of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the instrument establishing it.
Bulkachuwa made the declaration during a one-day conference at the Ceremonial Hall of the Appeal Court in Abuja last weekend.
The conference, themed: “Effective, Efficient and Expedient Discharge of Institutional Mandate”, attended by justices from different divisions of the court across the country, also hosted other key government agencies, media and other stakeholders.
The legal luminary therefore, urged practitioners to familiarise themselves with the AMCON Act, especially since some legal issues bothering on the competing rights of debtor companies or individuals, their creditors and other shareholders, among others, may be submitted to the courts for interpretation and adjudication given the peculiar assignment of AMCON.
“This directive will ensure that we are all conversant with the AMCON regime thus engendering uniformity and stability in the judicial implementation of the AMCON framework based on well-educated decisions.
“Therefore, it is essential to gain a proper understanding of the concept and operations of AMCON and the instrument establishing it. Hence, the imperative of constant discourse to ensure that the courts not only act, but also have knowledge and resources to act cannot be over-emphasised,” she said.
But the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, told the gathering that the refusal and arrogance of top AMCON obligors have become a source of concern.
He said the development has made it compelling for AMCON to perpetually depend on the judiciary for meaningful recoveries.
He also reiterated that AMCON was dealing with obligors that have the financial muscle to engage AMCON from court to court in their plot to buy time because AMCON has sunset clause.
This, he lamented, was an act of sabotage on the efforts of the Federal Government to pull the Nigerian economy out of its present position.
Kuru disclosed that his worries stem from the fact that the current management of AMCON under his leadership has at least N1.7 trillion worth of assets in litigation and counting.
According to him, it means that it will require the extraordinary commitment of the judiciary for AMCON to achieve timely resolution of these cases and meet its mandate.
He used the opportunity to thank the Appeal Court President, for being supportive of AMCON mandate by issuing a special Practice Direction in 2014 to expedite all appeals under the AMCON Act.
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