The recent decision of the Appeal Court invalidating the sale of the Lagos Continental Hotel to 11Plc has been appealed to the Supreme Court by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Polaris Bank Limited, and 11Plc.
The parties appealed to the Supreme Court via their Notice of Appeal dated December 5, 2022, 11Plc said in a statement on Thursday.
The parties have filed an application for a stay of execution of the Appeal Court’s verdict, awaiting the outcome of the case by the Supreme Court, according to a statement made by Samuel Ozeh, assistant company secretary/legal adviser.
On December 5, 2022, it stated, the motion for a stay of execution was also dated.
The statement said: “This move has effectively arrested the ability of Milan Industries Limited to enforce the Appeal Court’s judgment and would compel the parties to maintain the status quo pending the final determination of the appeal by the Supreme Court.
“In view of this situation, the ownership and operation of the Hotel by 11 Hospitality is not in any way impacted. 11 Hospitality remains upbeat in the circumstance as its acquisition of the Hotel followed due process and it believes AMCON assigned a valid title to it pursuant to the extensive powers vested in the Corporation under section 34 of the AMCON Act (as amended).”
AMCON acquired the Lagos Continental Hotel as an eligible bank asset following the failure of Milan Industries Limited to repay its loan to Skye Bank plc (now Polaris Bank Limited) to the tune of N15 billion with the interest element of the loan verging on N30 billion at the time, according to the statement.
It said the loan may have partly contributed to the plunging of the bank into financial distress and thereby necessitated AMCON’s acquisition of its non-performing loans, including that of Milan Industries Limited.
It said in 2020, AMCON, in line with its powers under section 34 of the AMCON Act (as amended), assigned its interest in the Hotel to 11 Hospitality Limited, a subsidiary of 11Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc).
But the sale was challenged by Milan Industries Limited at the Federal High Court, which dismissed the suit and affirmed the sale by AMCON after it found no merit in Milan’s claim of having repaid the huge loan it took from Polaris Bank, the statement said.
It said Milan Industries then appealed the decision of the Federal High Court, and the Court of Appeal in its judgment set aside the decision of the lower court.