April 24, 2019/AMCON
Thisday newspaper yesterday erroneously carried a news caption that the Supreme Court (SC) had ordered AMCON to pay Bi-Courtney, whose promoter is Wale Babalakin, the sum of N132B. This obviously does not represent the judgment of the Apex Court. There was never an issue of any liability of AMCON before the SC.
The decision of the SC never dealt with the merits of the appeal nor the substantive cause resulting in the exparte decision of the Federal High Court (FHC).
The appeal before the SCN was only in respect of the leave granted to AMCON by the Court of Appeal (CA) to appeal as an interested party and for which the Apex court held that the application ought to have been filed in the FHC first before the Court of Appeal. This was the sole issue submitted and determined by the Supreme Court whilst the substantive matter is still with the lower court.
More so the appeal against the judgement of the Federal Government/FAAN who are parties to the substantive cause given rise to the enforcement Order is still pending at the CA. The said appeal is strictly between the Federal Government/FAAN and Bi- Courtney and has nothing to do with AMCON.
The whole matter of N132billion is strictly a case between Bi-Courtney Limited and the Federal Government of Nigeria/FAAN. Bi-Courtney is struggling to tie the matter to their debt obligation in AMCON.
The only import of the judgment is that AMCON seeks the leave of the FHC first to appeal the enforcement Order before approaching the Court of Appeal. The net effect of the above is that AMCON was never ordered to pay Bi-Courtney 132billion nor any other amount. AMCON has never been a party to any of the proceedings pending at the court of Appeal.
As far as AMCON is concerned, Bi-Courtney, owned by Wale Babalakin is still indebted to the Corporation in excess of N119billion and the Corporation would continue to explore every legal avenue to recover the said sum in the national interest and interest of the bond owners.