The ongoing struggle for the soul of Arik Air seems to have taken another dimension with some mind blowing revelations.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and and founder of the airline, Sir Arumemi Johnson are currently engaged in exchanges that bothers on the image of the airline, which despite mounting challenges has managed to keep afloat.
Only recently, there were reports regarding the activities of the Receiver Manager of Arik Air Limited, Mr Kamilu Alaba Omokide FCA, a Senior Vice President at AMCON of him being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) based on a shocking petition filed by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, on an issue that is said to be before competent courts of law.
AMCON, a debt recovery agency of the federal government of Nigeria has for years now been in different courts with several debtors including Sir Arumemi Johnson.
The Arik founder, who is said to be still heavily indebted to AMCON to the tune of N400b, has been accused of seeking help outside the courts, without showing how he intends to settle the debt.
Sources say some of the companies linked to Sir Arumemi Johnson that cumulatively owe AMCON the humongous amount of over N400b include Arik Air Limited, Rockson Engineering Limited, which was given the contract to build seven Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), which would have improved power generation in the country, Ojemai Farms Limited amongst others.
It was further gathered that even though AMCON had indeed, and to a large extent remained civil in all their dealings with Sir Arumemi Johnson, he had at some point provided AMCON with proposals and resolution plans that were heavily tainted.
Dismissing the claim that the Receiver Manager appointed by AMCON mismanaged N120billion as contained in the said petition, he described the development as “Misleading, full of outright and deliberate lies interspersed with mischief.
“If you recall, Arik was totally rundown, heavily indebted, with Sir Arumemi Johnson unable to make repayment, which led to the appointment of the Receiver Manager by AMCON in the first place.
“And do not forget that the appointment of the Receiver Manager by AMCON was carried out in line with the provisions of the AMCON Act (as amended). Therefore, attempts to disparage the Receivership and work of the Receiver Manager with the intention of frustrating his work will not succeed because he is carrying out his legitimate work,” he added.
Although Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications Department of AMCON refused to comment on this development when we contacted him, AMCON had previously through the different public engagements told the public that it would continue to carry out its legitimate responsibility of recovering the huge outstanding debt of nearly N5trillion owed AMCON by the obligors no matter the intensity of the blackmail, misrepresentation of facts, denials, campaigns of calumny, media trials, intimidation, or any other strategy adopted by the obligors to slow down the corporation’s recovery strategy.