By Baba Yusuf
The recent interaction between the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and Justices of the Court of Appeal was aimed at apprising them of the enormous powers of AMCON and expediency of its cases.
Stating this at the event with the theme: “AMCON Regime: Paradigm Shift in Debt Recovery,” the Director-General, Legal Academy, Dr. Abba Fatihu, said due to the limited lifespan of AMCON and the antics of Litigants who had resorted to delay tactics, it had become imperative to appraise both the existing and in coming Justices of Court of Appeal on the expediency of its cases before them.
He said like other stakeholders of AMCON such as the Parliament, external lawyers, and security agencies, AMCON had realised that due to its “strange powers” it needed to engage the Justices to warn them ahead of time.
Fatihu, who is also the President, ABBA Group, further said the interaction was aimed at sensitising the Justices on the peculiar framework of the AMCON legislation which was based on dispatch.
He said: “This is because AMCON was established with a sun set date to purchase debts from banks. Therefore, it has enormous powers that are very unconventional which the interaction seeks to bring to the notice of the Honourable Justices so that when they come before them, they would not be seen as a party with strange powers.”
He said he was optimistic that after the interaction, there would be more positive and proactive judicial activism in relation to AMCON cases.
In her welcome address, President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, described the interaction as “timely,” believing that it would enhance the Justices comprehension of the AMCON Act.
In his goodwill message, a former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Grand Patron, Legal Academy, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta, described the AMCON Act as “an extremely complex whose goals can only be accomplished if the entire hierarchy of Bench appreciate fundamental underpinnings of its regime.”
Managing Director and CEO of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, said his agency had always seen Judiciary as AMCON most crucial stakeholder, disclosing that more than 70 per cent of AMCON debt purchase was mired in one form of litigation or the other, with more than 3,000 cases pending.