Arumemi floors AMCON: Arik assets to Nigerian Eagle in ‘bad faith’, court halts move

  • Orders AMCON to render accounts of take-over since 2017 in 14 days

 

The Federal High Court, Lagos on Friday made a declaration and ruled that the attempt to transfer Arik Air Limited Assets to NG Eagle Airlines (third defendant); an airline that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria tried to transmute Arik to, and Super Bravo Limited is not in the best interest of Arik Air as a whole.

In a certified true copy paper obtained by Aviation Metric, dated March 31, 2023, it noted that Kamilu Alaba Omokhide (First defendant), Reciever Manager of Arik Air failed to act in accordance with section 553 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.

The founder of Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide, and his wife, Mary Arumemi Ikhide (Plaintiffs) had filed had upon the originating motion summon dated December 14, 2021, and filed on December 9, 2021, prayed the court that the duty imposed on the first defendant (Omokhide) by section 553 of the CAMA 202O to act in the best interest of Arik Air Limited as a whole includes the duty to act in the best of the plaintiffs (Arumemi and Mary Ikhide) as members of Arik Air Limited.

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NG Eagle aircraft

The plaintiffs averred that the transfer of Arik Air Limited assets to NG Eagle (third defendant) and to Super Bravo Limited (fifth defendant) “was done in bad faith and a violation of Omokhide’s (first defendant) the fiduciary duty to Arik Air Limited as imposed by section 553 of the CAMA 2020”.

The duo of Arumemi and his wife said that in an attempt to transfer Arik Air Limited assets to NG Eagle and Super Bravo Limited, Omohkide did not act in the best interest of Arik Air Limited as a whole, thereby failing in his duty to act in accordance with section 533 of the CAMA 2020.

They equally sought a declaration that Omokhide, the Receiver/Manager appointed by AMCON is liable for any losses suffered by Arik Air Limited and its member as a result of the transfer of Arik’s assets to NG Eagle Limited.

Not done, the plaintiff sought a declaration that by virtue of section 533(1) of the CAMA 2020, Omokhide is an agent of AMCON, stating that the second defendant AMCON is vicariously liable for the acts of Omokhide.

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The plaintiffs noted and sought a declaration that in spite of the appointment of Omokhide as Receiver/Manager of Arik Air Limited, the organs of Arik Air Limited including directors and shareholders subsist.

Other declarations by the plaintiffs are that the directors and shareholders of Arik Air Limited, including the plaintiff (Arumemi-Ikhide and Mary Ikhide), still have rights and powers regarding Arik Air Limited; setting aside the transfer of Arik\s assets and a perpetual injunction restraining Omokhide to the fifth defendant from further transferring the airline’s assets to NG Eagle.

After hearing the submission of Babajide Koku (SAN) with Toheed Ipaye Esq. and Onome Okodiya Esq, counsel for the plaintiff moved in terms of the motion paper.

The first, second, and third defendants were represented by Emeka Okpoko (SAN) while Pascal Abasie represented the 4th defendant (NCAA).

Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa, after careful consideration of the application and submission of counsels, ruled that the duty imposed on the first defendant (Omokhide) by section 553 of CAMA 2020 to act in the best interest of Arik Air Limited as a whole includes the duty to act in the best interest of the plaintiffs as members of Arik Air Limited.

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The court ruled that the transfer of Arik Air Limited assets to NG Eagle Limited, Super Bravo Limited (fifth defendant) was done in bad faith and a violation of Omokhide’s fiduciary duty to Arik Air Limited as a whole imposed by section 553 of CAMA 2020.

The court granted all the prayers of the plaintiffs and ordered the defendants to render accounts and/or deliver returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission covering the entire period of receivership over Arik Air Limited within 14 days of making the order.

Arik Air

There was the fear that Arik Air was transforming itself to NG Eagle and would thereby escape its heavy indebtedness to FAAN and other aviation agencies. They insinuated that AMCON, the Receiver Manager of Arik Air, was using the assets of the airline to float NG Eagle.

Wole Shadare