A Federal High Court, Lagos, today, ordered Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to with immediate effect unseal a private school, Queensland Academy Limited, Okota, Lagos, sealed for been indebtedness to it.
The court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba, gave the directive following a complaint made by lawyer to the school, Mr Debo Adeleke, who complained to court that AMCON acted in flagrant violation to court order.
Justice Buba had on May 23, granted an exparte application brought before it by AMCON against Mr. Maxwell Okudor, Mrs. Lillian Okudor, Kemmep Nigeria Limited, and Queensland Academy, for their failure to pay the sum of N60 million, owned BankPHB, which has been taken over by AMCON.
Following the granting of the exparte application, AMCON officials had on Thursday, May 30, allegedly invaded the school with policemen armed to the teeth and seal it up.
Displeased with the AMCON’s action, lawyer to the school, Mr. Debo Adeleke, told the court on Monday that the corporation had acted contrary to the court’s order.
Adeleke told the court that the school was not pledged as security for the facility taken by the first to third respondents from BankPHB, and that as at time the order was being sought and granted, the school was already and presently conducting NECO, IJMB, and other examinations for its students, and that there was misrepresentation of facts by AMCON.
The lawyer also averred in its motion on Notice to vary the order of the court, that there is a pledged, donated charge/security on the loan facility located at Plot 626 Eket Close, Area 8, Garki, Abuja, which worthy over N500 million, which the court had granted AMCON the possession.
Moved by the submissions of counsel to the school, Justice Buba directed the immediate unsealing of the school, by AMCON.
Before ordering that the school be unsealed, the judge who was furious about the commission’s act, put a call to the AMCON’s lawyer, Mr. Osahon Idemudia, and asked if he ordered that the school should be seal-up, and to be guarded by armed policemen at the school.
However, dissatisfied with Osahon’s response, Justice Buba said the court only granted AMCON’s exparte application, by ordering it to take possession of the school pending the hearing of the substantive suit on the matter, not to seal it up.
In unsealing the school, Justice Buba ordered for the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR), Mr. Bello Okandeji, to inform him of the development, who in turn, summoned the two bailiffs who aided AMCON in carrying order the act.
Parts of the letter directing AMCON to unseal the school written and signed by the court DCR, Bello Okandeji read: “with respect to the possession of Queensland Academy Schools, I hereby notify you that there is no instruction for the padlocking the premises.
“There is different between Possession and Execution. The court did not order for locking down the premises, but to take possession of the premises which does not Include locking down the premises.
“As a result, the court had directed that the gates should he opened with immediate effect, which our bailiff is there to effect.
Kindly allow/permit the bailiff to open the gate and permit the students to continue with their activities without hindrances, please.”