Home BUSINESS Court orders take over of Donald Duke’s property over N537m debt

Court orders take over of Donald Duke’s property over N537m debt

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A FEDERAL High Court in Lagos has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) to seize a property of former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke over an alleged N537,334,360.77 debt.

Vacation judge Justice Chuka Obiozor also authorised AMCON and UBA to, in the interim, take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank. The judge made the order pursuant to AMCON and UBA’s August 8 ex parte application.

The applicants listed Stonehedge Investment Limited, Duke and his wife, Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke, as first to third defendants in the suit. The applicants had prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property being Number 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos”.

They averred that the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the first respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants”.

The applicants 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 AMCON 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 judge ordered AMCON and UBA to ensure service of substantive originating processes on the respondents within 20 days of the making of the order.

He adjourned further proceedings till September 2.

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