In an effort to recover a debt of over N430million, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, has dragged three Nollywood veteran producers, Charles Osa Novia, Fred Okaruere Amata, Fidelis Duker, and their company, Project Nollywood Production Limited, before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos.
According to a statement of claim accompanied with the Claimant’s witness written statement on oath, sworn to by an officer of the Credit Enforcement Unit of AMCON, Mrs Afiniki Oyedele-Lawal and filed before the Court by the law firm of MacMilton, it was alleged that:
The Project Nollywood Production Limited Company was a customer of Eco Bank Nigeria Plc.
The bank via a duly accepted ‘Offer Letter’ dated March 28, 2007, granted the defendants a Term Loan Facility.
The loan facility was secured based on the following terms:
– Debenture on all fixed and floating assets of the Project Nollywood Production Limited Company
– Lien on Master Tapes of all films produced under this facility.
– Assignment of copyright to all films produced under this facility.
– Warehousing of all finished Compact Discs, CDs, Video Compact Discs, VCD, Digital Video Discs, DVD, etc. produced.
– Promissory Note of the Company.
– Personal Guarantees of all the Directors of the Company supported by statement of net worth.
– Irrevocable Domiciliation of sale proceeds with the Bank/Sales Collection Agreement.
– Comprehensive Insurance on all assets of the Company with the Bank noted as first loss payee.
The offer was duly executed by Charles Osa Novia, Amata Fred Okaruere, as Directors of the company, Project Nollywood Production Limited.
By a letter dated February 10th, 2010 and duly signed by Duker Fidelis, as a Director, the defendants proposed a repayment plan for the loan.
By another letter dated May 26, 2010, the defendants indicated their inability to maintain the repayment plan for the loan, as earlier proposed.
The inability of the defendants to repay the loan led to the acquisition of the loan by AMCON, as a non-performing loan.
AMCON as a result wrote a demand letter to the defendants but never got any response from them.
The balance the defendants are owing AMCON now stands at 435,480,241.20 (Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Twenty Kobo) as at April 29, 2022 on which interest continues to accrue.
AMCON claims against the defendants jointly and severally are as follow:
– The sum of N435,480,241.20 (Four Hundred and Thirty Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Twenty-Kobo) being the outstanding indebtedness of the defendants as at April 29, 2022.
– Interest at the rate of Fifteen Percent (15%) per annum on the said sum of N435,480,241.20 (Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Twenty Kobo) from April 29, 2022 until judgment is delivered.
– Interest at the rate of Ten Percent (10%) per annum on the judgment sum from the date of entry of final judgment in the suit until the said judgment sum is fully and finally liquidated.
– An order directing the defendants to pay AMCON the cost of this action in the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira Only).
In the Meantime, the Presiding Judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, has adjourned the suit till May 10th, 2023 for hearing.