Court orders Victor Umeh to pay N136m debt owed Skye Bank to AMCON

Victor Umeh
Victor Umeh

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Senator Victor Umeh to pay about N136 million to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over his unpaid bank loan.

In his ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo also ordered Umeh, who represents Anambra Central Senatorial District, to pay the debt along with the accrued interest.

Justice Ekwo, who declared that Umeh was actually indebted to AMCON, issued an order directing the forfeiture of Umeh’s 5,000,000 units of Skye Bank shares in the records of the Central Securities and Clearing System to AMCON.

The judge also awarded a cost of N2 million in favour of AMCON and against Umeh.

AMCON filed the suit against the lawmaker who is currently the chairman of Senate Committee on Diaspora.

The corporation had told the court that Umeh got a loan of N23,250,000.00 from the now defunct Skye Bank in January 2008 “to enable him invest in and purchase shares of a financial institution in Nigeria.”

According to the claimant, the tenor of the credit facility granted the defendant was specifically fixed for 356 days.

“The offer letter contained various other explicit terms and conditions which the defendant accepted by duly executing the memorandum of acceptance.

“The defendant utilised the funds granted to him as credit facility by the bank.

“However, at the expiration of the tenor of the facility, the defendant failed and neglected to liquidate thr credit facility as per the contract,” it said.

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AMCON stated that it later acquired the unpaid debt when Skye Bank became unsuccessful in making Umeh to repay.

It said that its suit was to recover the debt which stood at N135, 722, 303.40k as of April 2011.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo, observed that despite being served with court documents in relation to the case, Umeh failed to file any response or make any effort to enter a defence.

“It is to be noted at this point that the defendant, upon being served, failed to enter a defence is this case.

“It is trite law that the net effect of the failure of a defendant to file pleadings is that the assertions of the claimant in his pleadings stands unchallenged and are deemed admitted and established.

“It is also trite that the effect of a defendant’s failure to call evidence in defence of the claims against him at the trial is that he is presumed to have admitted the case made against him by the claimant,” he said.

The judge added that despite Umeh’s failure to file a defence, the plaintiff was able to prove its case through the evidence it presented.