24th February 2021
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over assets belonging to 14 former directors of Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc over indebtedness of some N1.6 billion. The seizure was sequel to the order of Honourable Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division made on January 18, 2021. AMCON on February 23, 2021 took effective possession of the seven properties listed by the court through its Debt Recovery Agent – Etonye & Etonye. The properties included properties situated at Plots 14, 15, 16 and 17 in Block 1B, Isolo-Ishaga Area, Mushin, Lagos State; Mile 3 Old Isheri Road, Ikeja, Lagos State; Plot 13, Block 65 Magodo Residential Scheme, Lagos State; No. 73, Femi Kila Street, Okota, Isolo, Lagos State; Plot 22, Block 91, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, Lekki Area, Lagos; Government Land Allocation, Lekki Peninsula Scheme II, Lekki, Lagos State; and 2nd Avenue Estate Extension Ikoyi, Plot No. 11 Eti Osa LGA, Lagos State. The court also ordered the freezing of the bank accounts and shares of the company’s directors namely David Ogwu, Anthony Ezeh, Clara Rotzler, Vincent Otiono, Vincent Sankey, Victoria Alo, Hon. Preye Ogriki, Treasure Afolanyan, Chief Nwagwu, Peter Ololo, Gordons Ejikeme, Joe Idudu, Falcon Securities Ltd and Rainoil Limited. Founded in 2002, Deap Capital is a fund management and investment banking firm quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The board of the company had resigned on December 31, 2020 in what was seen as a regulatory enforcement. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 29, 2021 appointed a three-man interim management team for the company. Head, Corporate Communications, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Jude Nwauzor confirmed that all the property as listed by the court order have been taken over by AMCON with the assistance of court bailiffs among other officials of the law. On why AMCON had to wait for over a month to carry out the order, Nwauzor said, “It takes a process to effect these orders. We are a government agency that is guided by law and order, and we must meet all the legal conditions before any enforcement is made. So, the length of delay is not the issue. The important thing is to carry out the order as guided by the law.” Recall that AMCON, which is a debt recovery agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria had in July 2020, enforced on properties belonging to the Chief promoter of the company, Mr. Emmanuel Ugboh, after offering him concessions and exploring all avenues to resolve the debt harmoniously to no avail. However, due to the lack of adequate collateral, AMCON had to commence asset tracing on the company’s directors, an exercise, which revealed the seven properties the corporation has now enforced upon. AMCON’s action is in line with Section 61 of the AMCON Act, 2010 and Section 49 (1) & (2) of the AMCON Act 2019 (As Amended). AMCON purchased the non-performing loan (NPL) of Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases from Zenith Bank and FCMB in 2011.