N924m debt: Court fines Nwankwo Kanu, hotel N30,000 for delaying proceedings

Nwankwo Kanu

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fined ex-international Nwankwo Kanu and his hotel Hardley Apartment N30,000 for stalling the scheduled hearing of debt recovery suit brought against them by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

AMCON had dragged Hardley Apartment, its directors, Ayoola Gam-Ikon and Kanu, before the court over alleged debt of N924.7 million.

At the hearing of the matter, the respondents’ lawyer T. A. Idelegbagbon told the court that she was withdrawing all motions earlier filed in response to the suit in 2017.

But AMCON’s counsel Jayes Ujah urged the court to fine the respondents for filing frivolous motions, adding that he had already filed his response to the processes sought to be withdrawn.

Mr Ujah also asked the court to dismiss all new processes filed by the respondents on the ground that they contained facts that were earlier admitted to.

After listening to the submissions of both parties, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the respondents’ request for withdrawal of the motions, and ordered them to pay a fine of N30,000 for stalling further hearing in the matter.

The judge also ordered Kanu and his hotel to pay the money before January 20, 2022, when further hearing in the matter is expected to resume.

The case was first filed in court in 2015 as AMCON sought to recover its money used to buy over a loan the hotel collected from a bank.

In an affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by a credit officer named Victor Igabor, AMCON said between May 2008 and January 2011, the bank offered Hardley Apartments a loan of N520,457,000 which it could not repay.

As of October 15, 2021, the respondents’ indebtedness was said to be N924,788,754.56, representing principal and interest.