23 June 2016
The Assets Management Corporation (AMCON) has sealed off Silverbird Galleria and other properties belonging to Sen Ben Murry-Bruce in Lagos, Abuja and in Port Harcourt for owing it about N11 billion.
The Silverbird Galleria buildings in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt which house the cinema theatres, the television and radio stations of the brand are now non-operational due to the seal off.
Armed police officers have since been posted to the buildings to ensure that no business took place there. They were seen turning customers and tenants away.
AMCON also posted a copy of the court order signed by the Registrar, Federal High Court Holding at Lagos, Mr Rasaq Sule, on the buildings to reinforce its right to seal the properties.
It stated that AMCON had bought the indebtedness as an eligible bank asset from Union Bank of Nigeria.
Some of the tenants that lost the day’s business to the seal off are 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 AMCON interim injunction against Silverbird Productions Limited, Silverbird Showtime Limited, Silverbird Galleria Limited and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce
It added that the injunction was also pronounced against the senator’s brothers, Guy Murray-Bruce, Roy Murray-Bruce and Janthan Murray-Bruce on the application of AMCON.
“AMCON has since appointed M.A Banire (SAN) as Receiver to the companies,’’ it said.
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.
AMCON’s statement said, however, that the companies were not shut but that they would continue operations under the management of the Receiver.
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.
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,’’ he stated.