Stop debtors from contesting elections, judge urges AMCON

Now that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act 2019 has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, Hon. Justice CMA Olatoregun of the Federal High Court has called on the management of AMCON to work with other agencies of the government to stop its debtors from contesting elections in the country.

Olatoregun, who made the call as a chairperson of a one-day seminar for external solicitors and asset management partners of AMCON, also said it was the right time for the corporation to come up with a comprehensive database of its obligors.

She urged the corporation to make such information available to bodies such as the Independent National Electoral Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Security, and the Nigeria Police Force so that AMCON’s obligors could be stopped from contesting general elections.

With this strategy, the jurist posited that when elections were approaching, lawyers could boldly approach the court to obtain orders stopping such obligors from seeking votes from Nigerians.

Olatoregun said lawyers needed to understand that the over N5tn owed AMCON belonged to all Nigerians including the lawyers, adding that recovering the debt would have huge positive impact on the development of the nation’s economy.

She said it was sad that the Nigerian society had continued to allow AMCON debtors and people who could not honour a simple obligation to contest, win elections and eventually had occupied exalted offices in the country.

“It is in our constitution that people of questionable character and criminals should not contest elections. But we are yet to see confident lawyers that can come out and challenge these people that they are not eligible to stand for elections as a result of their heavy indebtedness,” she stated.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Kuru, in his opening remarks, lamented the huge debt owed the corporation, which would eventually become a burden to the Federal Government if the corporation failed to recover.