BY EMEKA EJERE
The takeover of the major interests in NICON Insurance Limited and the Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation (Nigeria Re) by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as announced by the corporation is rattling billionaire businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim.
The two assets were part of properties seized from Ibrahim over N69.4 billion debt.
Last year, AMCON had said the development followed a court order granting it the power to take over the assets.
In February, a federal high court in Abuja set aside the order granting AMCON permission to take over assets belonging to Ibrahim.
The judge had agreed with the business mogul and his firms NICON Investment Ltd and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd that AMCON concealed facts relating to the case to obtain an interim order.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday (July 27), AMCON said it is working in partnership with the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to bring the “much-needed stability” in the operation of the organisations.
The statement added that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had approved the new board and management for the two firms.
AMCON listed members of the new board of NICON Insurance as Lamis Shehu Dikko, chairman; Henry Uko Ationu, managing director/chief executive officer and John Abuh Oyidih, executive director, finance & administration.
“The insurance firm (NICON) also has Alexander Ayoola Okoh, the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) as Non-Executive Director and Ahmed Dahiru Modibbo FIBA ACIS as Non-Executive Director (Independent),” the statement reads.
Similarly, the directors of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation include Mela Audu Nunghe, chairman; Olugbenga Falekulo, managing director/chief executive officer and Olusegun Ilori, executive director, finance & administration.
“Alexander Ayoola Okoh, the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), comes in as Non-Executive Director while Yvonne Isichei MIoD, FCIB joins as Non-Executive Director (Independent),” the statement further reads.
“The reconstitution of the board and management team of two insurance institutions in Nigeria is to ensure that the firms continue in their quest for transparent and accountable management of insurance in the country, and continue to deliver value to its stakeholders.”
However, unconfirmed sources claim that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has granted an interim order restraining AMCON and others from taking further steps regarding reconstitution and appointment into the Board and management
According to the sources, the ruling was sequel to a motion filed by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim and NICON Investment Limited and others.
The suit No: PHC/ABJ/CS/760/2021 dated July 29, 2021 and filed on July 30, 2021 by attorneys to the applicants, C.I. Okpoko, SAN, and C.C. Ogbonna Esq, prayed for an interim order to set down the instant suit for accelerated hearing.
Upon reading and hearing the affidavit in support of the application, verifying affidavit and affidavit of urgency all disposed to by William Aroeote, company secretary of NICON Investment Limited, the presiding judge, A.R. Mohammed granted the prayers.
The court ordered that an order is made setting down the instant suit for accelerated hearing.
The interim order shall last for 14 days only in order to prevent the res and enable the court to take the motion on notice for interlocutory order of injunction.
The court also ordered that all the defendants be served with all the processes filed in the suit.
Report by one of the sources reads in part:
“The applicants shall file a written undertaking to indemnify defendants in damages if the interim orders ought not to have been made or even applied for.
“These orders are made pursuant to the provisions of order procedure1(2),(3)and 2(1) and order 56 rule 1 all of the federal High Court(civil procedure) rules, 2019.
“The suit was therefore adjourned to August 2021 for hearing of the plaintiffs’ motion on notice for interlocutory order of injunction.
“A copy of the order made available to newsmen by Bar. Jimoh Ibrahim and was signed by Awase Igba (Mrs.) Registrar of the court.”