A businessman, Onyema Okonjo may lose his business and properties over a N168 million indebtedness to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) as Federal High Court in Lagos, grants an interim order to take over his two companies, his shares, and house in Lekki.
The court also froze 15 bank accounts to which Okonjo as Managing Director of PC Outlet Limited C is signatory with other two directors, Kenneth Njoku and Ernest Awuionu.
The court also directed the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) to place a lien on the shares of the defendants held in a limited liability company GIANT BEVERAGES LIMITED pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The trial Judge, Justice Daniel Osiagor, also granted an order to AMCON to enter into and take possession of the property lying at Plot 18,Block 130,Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme,Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos which was pledged as security by a third party deed of legal mortgage for the facility granted to P C Outlet Limited company.
Justice Osiagor made the orders,after listening to the argument canvassed by AMCON lawyer, Laolu Owolabi of Bonajo Badejo law firm.
According to affidavit in support of the debt recovery suit deposed to by a legal practitioner, Francis Oloruntoba, it averred that, P C Outlet Limited, registered in Nigeria to carry on business of trading, marketing, sales and distribution of general goods was advanced various loan facilities by Eligible Financial Institution between September 7, 2007 to October 15, 2008.
The various facilities were secured by,full and unconditional personal guarantee of the Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of the company, Okonjo, while his wife Mrs Udokanma Mary Ane Okonjo executed a Third-party legal Mortgage as security for the facility obtained by P C Outlet Limited.
Mr. Onyeama Okonjo, Mr Kenneth Njoku,and Mr Ernest Awuionu,as Directors of P C Outlet Limited were instrumental to how the facility was sourced, applied for and granted as well as the way and manner the facilities granted to the company from the Eligible Financial Institution were utilized at all material times.
However,the Directors of the company were alleged to have failed to fulfill all the conditions in the offer letters and defaulted severally.
Upon acquisition of the Eligible Financial Institution, AMCON instituted a legal action against P C Outlet Limited and the court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba of entered judgement in the sum of N132,103,039.70 against the company. The court also awarded 10% post judgement interest from May 28, 2018 which had accumulated to the total sum of N36,328,335.91 as at 28th February,2021.
On February 11, 2021 AMCON appointed the law firm of Bonajo Badejo to enforce and recover the outstanding facilities and in furtherance of the mandate by AMCON, the law firm took steps to investigate the defendants and discovered that Okonjo, sole signatory to the account of P C Outlet Limited maintained with the Eligible Financial Institution had diverted the funds of P C Outlet to establish another company called GIANT BEVERAGES Limited and owns the controlling shares.
Consequently, AMCON added the acquisition of the second company to its prayers, urging the court to grant its prayers and disallow the defendants from dissipating the properties before its indebtedness is settled.
The defendants lawyer, S.E.Omoragbon did not oppose the application.
Justice Osiagor while acceding to the request of AMCON, adjourned till July 27,2021 for hearing of the substantive suit.