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Senate empowers AMCON to confiscate untendered assets as collateral

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[FILES] Lawan. Photo: TWITTER/DRAHMADLWAN/TOPEBROWN

The Senate, yesterday, passed a bill empowering the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to seize assets of customers not captured as collateral.

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, No. 2 2019 (Amendment Bill, 2021) scaled third reading amid opposition, as some senators observed discrepancies in the proposed law.

A drama ensued after Senate President Ahmad Lawan ruled in favour of the clauses when Senator Akpan Bassey, who noted that AMCON was not primary lender, raised a point of order invoking Order 73 to challenge the decision.

Relying on the order the lawmaker was challenging Lawan’s ruling and calling for a division.

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The chief pressing officer, however, intimidated Akpan, who could not sustain his challenge, as he recoiled and took his seat

Lawan said: “Are you challenging the ruling that the ‘yes’ had it? If that was your opinion, but in my judgment and understanding as the only one that has the gavel, I will view that “as we should be very magnanimous when we do the exercise. This is something majority of our colleagues have voted for, let’s allow this thing to be implemented. If there’s any difficulty, then come back and it can be challenged.”

Considering the report of the Senator Uba Sani-led Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, most of the lawmakers noted that some of the clauses would empower AMCON to go beyond its mandate.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who aligned with the argument, drew Lawan’s attention to the conflicting clauses.

Others stated that if the corporation goes beyond its reach, it would generate legal issues.

Responding, Lawan reminded the critics that the bill had scaled through second reading where they ought to have made the observations.

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