Donald Duke Considering Out-Of-Court Talks With AMCON Over Seized Property

Former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, is considering out-of-court settlement with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over the seizure of his property for N537 million debt.

Mr Duke’s counsel, Edoigiawerie Omoruyi, told the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday that his client had met with AMCON.

Mr Omoruyi prayed Justice Nicholas Oweibo to grant the parties leave to hold talks out of court.

Counsel to AMCON, Austin Erhabor, agreed with the request.

Justice Oweibo consequently adjourned till September 11 for report of settlement.

Justice Chuka Obiozor, in a judgement delivered on August 8, had authorised the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and AMCON to take over funds in Duke’s accounts in any bank in the interim.

The order followed an ex-parte application by UBA and AMCON.

The applicants also included Stonehedge Investment Limited and Duke’s wife, Owanari, as first and third defendants in the suit.

AMCON had asked the court for possession and custody of the property at No 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi in Lagos, which it claimed was listed as collateral for the first respondent’s debt “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).”

It also asked the court for an interim injunction to takeover 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 ordered AMCON and UBA to ensure service of substantive originating processes on the respondents within 20 days of the making of the order.

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