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AMCON seals off Ben Murray-Bruce properties over N10bn loan

Ben Murray Bruce

Ben Murray Bruce

The Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) on Thursday sealed off Silverbird Galleria and other properties belonging to Senator Ben Murry-Bruce for owing it about N10 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Silverbird Galleria buildings in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt which house the Cinema theatres, the television and radio stations of the brand were now non-operational due to the seal off.

NAN correspondents who visited the Silverbird Galleria building in Abuja saw armed police officers securing the premise and
turning back customers and tenants.

AMCON pasted a copy of the court order giving them the right to seal the properties.

The court order pasted on the walls of the property was signed by the Registrar, Federal High Court Holding at Lagos, Mr Rasaq Sule.

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It stated that AMCON had bought the indebtedness as an eligible bank asset from Union Bank of Nigeria.

Some of the tenants that had lost the day’s business due to the seal off were Shoprite, United Bank for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Mango boutique, Etisalat, Kilmanjaro Restaurant and Woks and Koi Chinese restaurant.

According to a statement by Head, Corporate Communications of AMCON, Mr Jude Nwauzor, the sealing off of the properties followed a court injunction by the Federal High Court Lagos Division on Friday June 17, 2016.

It said that the court “granted interim injunction against Silverbird Productions Limited, Silverbird Showtime Limited, Silverbird Galleria
Limited and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Guy Murray-Bruce, Roy Murray-Bruce and Janthan Murray-Bruce on the application of AMCON.

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“AMCON has since appointed M.A Banire (SAN) as Receiver to the companies.’’

The presiding judge, Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun, while granting the order, restrained Sen Ben Murray-Bruce and other obligors from challenging, interfering with or otherwise obstructing or frustrating the Receiver appointed by AMCON over the fixed and floating assets of the listed companies belonging to the Murray-Bruce family.

It said that the senator could not repay the huge debt owed AMCON has been in protracted negotiations.

The statement, however, said that the companies were not shut down but that it would continue operations under the management of the Receiver appointed for the companies.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that AMCON was set up in 2010 by the Central Bank of Nigeria and has the powers to acquire
non-performing loans and assets of Nigerian banks at fair values.

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The 400 obligors of AMCON account for more than N4.5 trillion, which is approximately 80 per cent of the total outstanding loan balance of the Corporation.

Meanwhile Senator Ben Murray-Bruce on his Twitter page said that the situation was already being resolved.

“I have been on an international flight and have only just landed. The situation is being resolved and things will be back to normal.

“In 36 years, Silverbird has grown and like anybody, it will face challenges. Tough times don’t last but we as tough people, outlast
them.’’

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