Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos has cleared the former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke of his N537, 334, 360.77 debt to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) after he paid N350 million as final settlement.
It would be recalled that the judge had, on August 21, 2019, ordered AMCON and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to take over a property situated at No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, belonging to the former governor over the debt.
The order was sequel to the granting of an ex parte motion by AMCON and UBA, wherein they sought the takeover of the property which they claimed was mortgaged by Duke as collateral in securing the indebtedness of a firm, Stonehedge Investment Limited.
The Nation reports that the court discharged its interim order which had permitted AMCON and UBA to seize Duke’s properties and funds in his accounts.
Oweibo cleared Duke following settlement terms filed and moved by AMCON’s legal team from Benson Reeds Legal Practitioners, Abuja.
Counsel for AMCON, Mrs. Juliet Benson, told the judge that Duke had fulfilled the terms of the out-of-court settlement and both parties had agreed to the terms.
“I hereby pray the court to adopt the terms of settlement as the judgment of court,” Benson said.
Duke’s counsel, Mr. Edoigiawerie Omoruyi confirmed that his client had “shown good faith by promptly making the payment of over N350m which parties all agreed to.
“I join my colleagues in praying the court to enter our terms of settlement as the full and final judgment of court.”
In a bench ruling, Justice Oweibo upheld their prayers.
The judge added: “All orders in the case stands discharged.”
AMCON had on August 8 sealed off Duke’s Ikoyi home following the interim order.
Justice Oweibo, on September 3, upheld Duke’s prayer and adjourned till September yesterday, for a report of settlement, after Duke promised to pay off the debt.
Stonehedge Investment Ltd, Duke and his wife, Onari, were first to third defendants in the suit.