A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) from further tampering with the assets and properties of Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria allegedly taken over by AMCON.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order yesterday upon complaint by Mr. Ted Iseghohi-Edwards, lawyer to former Managing Director of the now defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru. Iseghohi-Edwards had told the court that the AGF and AMCON were tampering with Aero Contractor’s assets and operations in a way likely to ground it.
He further told the court that despite the pendency of a suit by Ibru and five others, accusing the AGF and AMCON of acting outside the plea bargain agreement she entered with the federal government on her conviction in October 2010, the defendants had moved into Aero Contractors and taken steps to ground it.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, who prayed the court to order parties to maintain the status quo and allow things to remain as they were as at the time of filing the suit, argued that should the court allow the defendants to carry on the way they were going, the substance of the case would have been destroyed and there would be nothing left to protect.
Although AMCON’s lawyer, Abayomi Okubote, argued that his client acted within its powers under the AMCON Act and by virtue of a November 12, 2013 order by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Lagos division of the court, Justice Mohammed held that there was no evidence that Aero Contrators formed part of Ibru’s assets covered by the order.
Justice Mohammed, who ordered parties to the suit to maintain status quo pending the next adjourned date of September 17, held that since his earlier order that the defendants should come and show cause why the interlocutory injunctions sought by the plaintiffs should not be granted stating that it was wrong for the defendants to take further steps in respect of the case.
The judge held that since the order to show cause had not been set aside, and the defendants having also not taken steps to have it set aside, such order ought to serve as stay of all activities in relation to the suit until it was determined.
He, however, ordered Ibru to sign an undertaking in the court promising to compensate the defendants should any of them sustain any loss as a result of the order for maintenance of status quo, and should it turn out that Aero Contractors was covered in the order made by Justice Idris.