The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has announced the taken over of the residence and company of Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, over “debts to the tune of N900 million”.
But Buba Galadima said the takeover is a political vendetta.
A statement by Mr. Jude Nwauzor, the corporation’s corporate communications head, yesterday said Galadima and Bedko Nigeria Limited, his company, owe AMCON nearly N900 million which was collected during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets purchase from Unity Bank Plc in 2011.
This latest move by the corporation followed series of warning to debtors it would name and shame them if they refused to pay. The federal government had also in January 2019 announced it won’t do any more business with AMCON debtors until they settle their debts obligations. AMCON has about N5trn in its debt books that it has not been able to claim.
At inception, the corporation acquired over 12,000 non-performing loans worth approximately N3.7 trillion from 22 commercial banks; injected N22 trillion as financial accommodation to 10 banks. The direct impact of that action is seen in the protection of about N3.66 trillion of depositors’ funds and approximately 14,000 jobs were saved, according to data from the ministry of finance, budget and national planning.
Recall the MD/CEO AMCON, Mr. Ahmed L. Kuru had said last year that if AMCON disposed all the assets under it, it may be able to recover only N1trn, based on willing buyer, willing seller thus leaving it with a deficit of about N4trillon.
“Those owing us but still doing business with government must be made to settle their obligations. They can’t be enjoying government patronage yet owe debts” he had said in an attempt to made debtors pay.
But Galadima in an interview with BBC Hausa Service yesterday said the takeover of his company and house was a political vendetta because “ I am an opposition figure’’.
He said, he would challenge the seizure in court.
He said: “I was awarded a contract to purchase and supply fertilizer during Ibrahim Shekarau’s led administration in Kano in 2003. I went to Tropical Commercial Bank to collect loans for purchasing the fertilizer. But I didn’t collect a kobo from them; and wherever I went to buy fertilizer with their credit letter they would tell me that they couldn’t take letter of credit from the bank.
“It continued until three years after, and all of a sudden, the bank sent me a bill that I had accrued interest of N349m. And they went to one Abuja court to force me pay back the interest. And there’s nothing I kept with them as collateral. The product was not supplied, hence there’s nothing to pay back.
“But the court gave them a judgement that since I was issued with the credit letter I must payback even if I didn’t collect any kobo.
“I went to Court of Appeal where it ruled in my favour and today it’s a year after that judgement, they neither appealed in the Supreme Court nor abided by the ruling. And they went back to the high court which granted them this document and they acted in such humiliating manner against me, political intimidation. I was humiliated. And I was chased out of my residence alongside 40 others – whom we’re living together with. So, today (yesterday) we may sleep on the street. ‘’We’ll remain here (outside/outdoors) for Nigerians to come and see for themselves the autocratic style of government that is going on in Nigeria.
‘’It’s just a political vendetta since I am an opposition figure, they are employing all tactics to abuse my person.
‘’I dare them that even if they will point a gun at me; I won’t care. And this very residence as well as my office, how have they come to know they belong to me that they put inscriptions on them? Let them go to court and prove the places belong to me or otherwise.
‘’The loan I requested from the bank was more than N170 million. And had I accessed that loan, by now I would have become as rich as Dangote or Abdulsamad.
‘’I would go back to court and seek redress for I may become rich from this case.’’