AMCON: Court sets aside judgement against Senator Umeh


By Tony Okafor, Awka

An Abuja Federal High Court has set aside its earlier judgement against Senator Victor Umeh, representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, due to lack of service.

Justice I.E. Ekwo, presiding over the court on 20th of May, 2024, overturned the earlier judgement delivered on January 29, 2024, in the case between Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Chief Victor Umeh.

The earlier judgement had ordered the seizure of Umeh’s assets, including 5,000,000 units of Skye Bank shares, over an alleged debt of N135,722,303.40 to AMCON.

Senator Umeh’s counsel, P.I.N. Ikwueto (SAN), had argued that the earlier judgement was invalid due to lack of service.

Ikwueto said,” It is settled law that where lack of service of an Originating Process on a defendant is established, as in this case, it goes to the jurisdiction of the Court; and any decision or judgment delivered in the absence of service is liable to be set aside by the same court that delivered it.

“This Honourable Court has the inherent jurisdiction to set aside its said Judgment delivered on 29th January 2024, with substantial costs against the Respondent for having misrepresented facts before the Court. It is in the interest of justice and fair hearing to grant this Application.”

Justice Ekwo agreed with Ikwueto’s submissions and set aside the previous judgement, particularly as AMCON could not file any Counter Affidavit challenging the Application after they were served since February and after several Adjournments to enable them challenge the Application.

Ekwo said, “Order is hereby made setting aside the judgement of this Honourable Court delivered on 29th January, 2024 in this Suit No: FHC/ABJ/AMC/12/2022 ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION OF NIGERIA v. CHIEF VICTOR UMEH.

Our correspondent gathered that Senator Umeh had been unaware of the lawsuit and was only alerted to the earlier judgement through social media publications.

Upon reviewing the processes, it became clear that the claimant( AMCON) had misled the court into assuming jurisdiction when it falsely deposed in an Affidavit that they served Sen Umeh at a property which they claimed belonged to him at Apo Resettlement Area in Abuja.

AMCON claimed it served the court processes to Senator Umeh at his property at Plot 1231, APO RESETTLEMENT, ZONE C, NEW GARKI, ABUJA.

But the Acting Director Resettlement and Compensation Federal Capital Development Authority, Nasiru Suleiman,
in a letter upon inquiry ,referenced FCDA/DRC/LU/22/133 and dated 22nd February,2024 said the place was not Senator Umeh’s Property as claimed by AMCON.

Suleiman wrote, “Please be informed that from our records, the status of title document with Plot No. 1231, Provisional Allocation of Resettlement Plot at Apo with Reference No. GK/05/2957 is allocated to AYUBA JATAU and NOT to Chief Victor Umeh.
Please accept the assurances of the Department’s warm regards.”

Senator Umeh did not know the Property and has never lived in that area of Abuja.

It was upon this that Justice Ekwo set aside the judgement as AMCON could not prove otherwise.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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