The Asset Management Company has reacted to reports that former Nigeria international Nwankwo Kanu had his medals stolen at The Hardley Apartments, saying there were no medals in the hotel owned by the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games gold medallist, when they took possession of the property.
The hotel, located in Victoria Island, Lagos, has been at the centre of a long-running legal dispute between Kanu and AMCON.
Kanu was alleged to have used The Hardley Apartments as collateral for a bank loan but was unable to settle the debt, which prompted AMCON in 2015 to obtain an order from the Federal High Court to take possession of the property.
AMCON said it took an inventory of the property after its takeover, saying it did not include any medals as claimed by Kanu.
Kanu, one of Africa’s most decorated footballers, told journalists on Monday in Lagos that medals and souvenirs, which he won during his football career, had disappeared at the hotel.
“This is the saddest day of my life as I cannot understand why this happened to me. All the medals I have earned, in addition to the Olympic Torch that I cherished, are all gone and I don’t even know who to ask for all these prized assets,” the former Ajax player said.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, AMCON said the stories of the disappearance of Kanu’s laurels were an attempt to mislead the public and create sentiments in favour of the former Super Eagles captain.
The statement, signed by AMCON’s Head, Corporate Communications, Jude Nwauzor, said, “AMCON is not in the habit of joining issues with obligors on the pages of newspapers especially when the matter is in court as in this one.
“It is noteworthy that similar clarification was made by the corporation in 2017, when the debtor claimed that AMCON had illegally taken over his hotel. However, as a law abiding recovery agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we are at all times guided by the law and would continue to act accordingly irrespective of obligor’s social, political or economic status.
“The public is hereby informed that these stories are meant to instigate sentiments in the media and the public on the true position of the indebtedness of The Hardley Apartments (promoted by Nwankwo Kanu) to the corporation.
“We also want to put on record that having exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution as a result of the huge debt; extended on so many invitations for discussion, which were turned down, AMCON in 2015 obtained an order from the Federal High Court, which granted the corporation possession of The Hardley Apartments located at No. 46 Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Off Elsie Femi – Pearse Crescent, Off Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island in Lagos State, being the asset pledged as collateral for the loan.
“The procedure was done with the court bailiff and inventory of property was taken, which did not include any medals as claimed. This order still subsists, pending the determination of the substantive matter. The public should therefore please disregard these misrepresentations as we await the pronouncement of the court on the matter.”