AMCON laments N146m loan default by federal lawmaker

•Says over N1trn debt outstanding

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has lamented the alleged failure of Honourable Mustapha Dawaki Bala, a member of House of Representatives, to pay his debt of N145, 980,886.99 owed the agency.

The lawmaker from Kano State was said to have taken the loan as share purchase facility to purchase 2,000,000 units shares of Zenith Bank Plc, with an agreement to subsequently pay back the loan.

However, after an apparent default on payment of the said sum, AMCON wrote a letter to Honourable Bala to remind him of the need to liquidate his indebtedness.

The letter, dated June 20, 2016, and signed by Mr Kamar Raji on behalf Wande Okeya and Co, an asset management partner appointed by AMCON, requested the lawmaker to make the payment within two weeks.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, on Sunday, Mr Raji said Honourable Bala failed to honour the letter and its content, more than four months after he had received it.

He said, rather than complying and dealing with the appointed asset management partner as stated in the letter, the lawmaker choose to approach AMCON, even without making any payment.

Raji further stated that the outstanding indebtedness of prominent Nigerians to AMCON was over N1 trillion, noting that the development was hampering the development of cottage and medium-scale industries.

Speaking on further efforts to recover lawmaker’s indebtedness and other outstanding debts, Raji simply said, “most of these people are highly placed and they have been using their connections to frustrate efforts at recovering the monies.”

A copy of the letter, written by Wande Okeya and Co. to the federal lawmaker, was also made available to the Nigerian Tribune.

“We are been appointed as an Asset Management Partners by AMCON under the consortium known as Wande and Co.with full power vested on AMCON to recover and manage, amongst others, your indebtedness with AMCON.

“As you are aware, the Federal Government set up AMCON, in a bid to rescue failing banks at the time due to non-performing loans on the books of these banks.

“Your indebtedness was therefore purchased as one of such loans and all rights, title, interest, benefits, receivables etc, which hitherto accrued to First City Monumental Bank (FCMB) was transferred to AMCON.

“We are aware that you requested for and (was) granted a Share Purchase Facility to purchase 2,000,000 units of Zenith Bank Plc shares.

“We have been informed from the documents made available to us that your indebtedness to AMCON, currently stands at N145, 980,886.99. We have also been informed that you have refused to liquidate your indebtedness till date.

“We wish to inform you that upon your refusal to liquidate your indebtedness till date, interest at rate of 21 per cent, per annum, has continued to accrue on the said indebtedness and will continue accruing till final payment of this indebtedness.

“In view of the above stated mandatory, we hereby demand for the immediate payment of the sum of N145,  980, 889.99 and all accrued interests towards liquidating the indebtedness.

“We believe a man of your calibre and standing in society will give room to reasoning and good counsel in the resolution of this indebtedness.

“However that failure to positively respond to this letter within 14 days of its receipt will leave us with no other choice than to initiate the process of recovery against you in line with the power confered upon AMCON under the law”, the letter read.

Efforts to get Honourable Bala’s reaction to the allegation proved abortive, as he neither picked his calls nor responded to a sms sent to his mobile phone, as at the time of going to press.