By Sunday Ani

The Milan Industries Ltd, owners of Intercontinental Hotels, Lagos has filed an N850 billion damages claim against Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over wrongful sale of Intercontinental Hotels Lagos.

The firm had earlier filed a suit against AMCON and Polaris Bank challenging the sale of the hotel over Milan’s alleged indebtedness to the bank, following a banking relationship between them. AMCON allegedly acquired Milan’s alleged indebtedness from Polaris, and in a bid to recover the alleged debt, purportedly sold Intercontinental Hotels – the security for the loan, to a third party. 

However, in December 2022, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, set aside the sale of the hotels by AMCON as being unlawful. 

The claim is contained in a suit against AMCON at the Federal High Court, Lagos, in which Milan Industries is claiming that as a result of the unlawful sale and takeover of its hotel, it has suffered an estimated loss of more than N850 billion, which sum it is now seeking from AMCON as damages in court. 

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The firm in its statement of claim, said “despite lodging an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, AMCON in clear abuse of court process, is also attempting to recover the unsecured part of the debt, which it estimates to be forty two billion Naira (N42,000,000,000.00). “Remarkably, at the time the hotel was sold to the third party, it was valued at N85 billion whereas Milan’s indebtedness stood at N15 billion  only, at most.” 

Milan Industries added: “To date, AMCON and Polaris have not informed Milan how much the hotel was purportedly sold for, and whether as a result, the debt is fully liquidated or not. The directors of Milan Industries Limited are vigorously contesting the bankruptcy proceeding commenced against them by AMCON.”

As a result, the directors of Milan Industries have already instructed the law firms of Prof A. B. Kasunmu L.P, Ahmed Raji & Co., and A. B. Sulu Gambari & Co. to represent them in court.

“The bankruptcy proceeding is a grand design by AMCON to divert attention from the monumental damages they have inflicted on Milan Industries Limited which they, along with Polaris, must surely pay for,” the firm stated in its statement.