Export Development Canada Admonishes EFCC On Interference With Mortgage Rights

The Export Development Canada (EDC) has warned the Economic Financial and Crime Commission (EFCC) to lay off its Mortgage Rights, the CRJ 1000 which the crime commission is obstructing the owner from repossessing following a petition filed by Sir Johnson Arumemi, founder of Arik Air.

The situation has called to question the urgent need by the Nigerian state to protect the interests of international lenders, such as Export Development Canada (EDC), and other potential lenders closely monitoring the ongoing investigations by EFCC into the affairs of the Receiver Manager of Arik, as it relates to the enforcement of mortgage rights by EDC, in respect of a CRJ 1000 aircraft owned by JEM Leasing.

The handling of this matter will significantly impact their decisions on whether to invest in Nigeria’s fragile economy in the future.

Recent events surrounding the invitation of the EFCC further to a petition by Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide, in respect of the sale of an aircraft by JEM Leasing Limited in cooperation with financing provided by EDC, may have raised concerns about the interference faced by lenders and the potential repercussions for Nigeria’s economic fortunes.

READ ALSO:  Emirates rolls out biofuel powered, environmentally friendly A380s

Not a few believed that it is imperative for the Nigerian government to prioritize the preservation of investor confidence and provide a stable and supportive environment for international lenders.

The allegations and counter allegations that the Receiver Manager of Arik has superintended over the stripping of the CRJ 1000 aircraft, without the knowledge of the owner of the said Aircraft – JEM Leasing Limited, is untrue according to EDC is untrue.

The Receiver Manager of Arik had threatened to sue media houses that published what it termed as a false narrative, saying it is crucial to establish the truth and hold accountable those responsible for disseminating false information.

EDC, as a Crown Corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada, plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and development through investments in various projects worldwide.

Arik Air’s aircraft

The EDC is a letter made to Aviation Metric on request and signed by Phillip Hinds for Jems Leasing Limited dated June 5th, 2023 stated that this episode superintended by the EFCC threatens not only future investments by EDC in Nigeria but also sends a discouraging message to other potential lenders considering investments in Nigeria.

READ ALSO:  Counter terrorism: UN trains FAAN AVSEC Officers

According to EDC, “There were numerous, substantial, and continuing defaults (including non-payment of numerous rental amounts due under the Lease) by Arik in the performance of its obligations under the Lease. The Owner granted extensive periods of grace to Arik in order to give Arik the opportunity to remedy those defaults. The defaults were not remedied and, accordingly, on June 20TH, 2022 the owner terminated the leasing of the Aircraft under the lease, in accordance with the terms of the Lease. A copy of the notice terminating the leasing of the aircraft under the Lease is appended to this letter as appendix 2.”

“Accordingly, neither Arik nor any person claiming through Arik has any title to, interest in, or right to use or possession of, the aircraft (or any part of the aircraft, including its technical records).

READ ALSO:  Arik Air reconnects Owerri

“Pursuant to the termination of the leasing of the Aircraft under the Lease, on July 19th, 2022 the aircraft was de-registered from the registry of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (the NCAA). A copy of the NCAA de-registration notices evidencing such de-registration (and also evidencing the ownership of the aircraft by the owner and the termination of the leasing of the Aircraft to Arik is appended to this letter as appendix 3.

“The owner has agreed to sell the aircraft to ALBERTA AVIATION CAPITAL CORP. (the Buyer), pursuant to a sale and purchase agreement (the SPA) dated  December 19th, 2022 between the owner and the buyer. The buyer is a third party unconnected to the owner, EDC or Arik.

Wole Shadare