N537.3m debt: Court orders takeover of Donald Duke’s Ikoyi property

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the  takeover an Ikoyi, Lagos property owned by former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, over an alleged debt of N537,334,360.77.

The court made the takeover order in an August 8, 2019 ruling by Justice Chuka Obiozor, ordering the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON and the United Bank for Africa, UBA to take possession.

The order was pursuant to an ex parte application, marked, FHC/L/CS/1373/2019, taken before the judge by AMCON and UBA.

Listed as first to third defendants were Stonehedge Investment Limited, Mr Donald Duke and Mrs Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke, respectively.

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.”

According to them, the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the 1st respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants.”

The applicants also 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).”

They 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 the case until September 2, 2019, PUNCH reports.

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