Senate Empowers AMCON To Seize Debtors’ Assets

Despite protest by some lawmakers yesterday, the Senate
has empowered the Asset Management Corporation of
Nigeria (AMCON) to seize debtors’ assets even if it is not
captured in a collateral.
This followed the passage of the AMCON Act No. 2, 2019
(Amendment Bill 2021) presented by the Senate Committee
on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
The report was presented by its chairman, Sen Uba Sani
(APC, Kaduna Central).
However, some lawmakers pointed out that some of the
clauses will empower AMCON to go beyond its mandate.
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, who made this
observation, drew the attention of Senate President Ahmad
Lawan to the clauses, noting that, if passed, they would
empower the corporation to go beyond their mandate.
Other lawmakers noted that if AMCON goes beyond its
mandate, it would generate legal issues, as the corporation
would go beyond what the customer tendered at the time of
taking the loan.
Lawan said that this is not the time to make corrections as
the Bill had already passed second reading where the
lawmakers would have made their observations and
corrections.
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The complaints of the lawmakers did not deter the Senate
president from ruling in favour of the clause, even when the
voices against the clause overwhelmed those supporting it.
After the ruling, Senator Akpan Bassey, who noted that
AMCON is not a primary lender, raised a point of order to
challenge the decision of Lawan, which degenerated into
the following altercations.
Lawan said: “Are you challenging the ruling that the ‘yes’
had it? That is your opinion… This is something the majority
of our colleagues have voted for, let’s allow this thing to be
implemented, if there’s any difficulty then come back”.
Bassey said: “This is subject to challenge in a court of law
because if I’m a debtor and tendered a collateral – I have
signed everything, you cannot go beyond the context of that
clause; you can’t. It will be challenged.”
Lawan replied: “Thank you very much Bassey, when it’s time
to legislate, we all come here with a very clear mind, that we
are doing this for our country. We don’t have any interest
but national interest when the majority of our colleagues
here in their judgement feel this is the right thing to do.”

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