Less that 24 hour after he joined some prominent politicians to announce a bid to wrest power from All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023 through a Rescue Nigeria Project, former Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, joined other Nigerians to watch a video of the take-over of his mansion by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) run like wildfire through the social media.
A follow-up statement by AMCON explained that the property in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, was confiscated over an alleged N5 billion loan, it (AMCON) had taken over.
Ahmed’s non-performing loans and those of his companies, Trans Properties and Investment Limited and Trans It Consulting Limited, were taken over by AMCON from the former Intercontinental Bank, FinBank and Bank PHB during the first phase of EBA purchases.
The corporation also listed other properties across the country it had its eyes on for seizure. They include Plot 3632, Cadastral Zone E27 of Apo, Abuja; Plot 4115, Cadastral Zone F14 of Bazango, Abuja; Plot 8502, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas, Abuja; and Plot 494, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas, Abuja, No. 13, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere; No. 9 Wharf, Apapa, Lagos.
AMCON’s Head, Corporate Communications Department, Jude Nwauzor, explained in a statement that the Ilorin seizure followed an order by Justice A.M Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
“AMCON on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, in Ilorin, the Kwara State, capital took over the palatial mansion of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, the former two-time governor of Kwara State over a staggering indebtedness of nearly N5bn.
“Justice Liman also ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of the former governor and his two companies including Trans Properties and Investment Limited and Trans It Consulting Limited in Suit No: FHC/L/AMC/01/2021
“The former governor who is one of the founders of the newly established third force in Nigerian politics known as the Rescue Nigeria Project is one of the high-profile obligors of AMCON. Despite holding one of the highly exalted political offices in the land, he remained recalcitrant over the repayment of his obligation.”
“All efforts to peacefully resolve the loan had been frustrated by the former governor who remained recalcitrant, which left AMCON no other choice but to seek justice in court,” the statement said.
But Ahmed says the take over of his Ilorin property was unnecessary and overzealous due to ongoing talks to resolve previous transactions with two defunct banks.
The former governor’s spokesman, Wahab Oba, clarified that the dispute was based on a margin loan he secured from Intercontinental Bank and Finbank in 2009 for the purchase of shares which was then lumped with unrelated loans obtained by other.
”Reacting to a viral video depicting the takeover of his residence by an individual who claimed to represent the company, Ahmed explained that the banks held the shares as collateral to sell and recover the loans in the event of a default,” said the statement.
”Instead, he said, the banks passed the loans to AMCON instead of selling the shares to recover the loan amount.”
Ahmed said he was in discussion with AMCON to separate the liabilities before the lawyer’s overzealous conduct despite knowing the loan amount was in dispute and that reconciliation talks were ongoing.
The former governor gave a firm commitment to meet any outstanding obligations once the loans were disaggregated.