The Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken
possession of Silverbird Galleria. AMCON secured an order from a Federal
High Court in Lagos, to take over companies owned by Ben
Murray-Bruce and his business partners after they defaulted in the
repayment of N11bn loan to Banks.
The companies affected are Silverbird
Galleria Limited, Silverbird Promotions Limited and Silverbird Showtime
AMCON had, by notice of appointment dated April 18, 2016, appointed
Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) receiver/manager over the assets of the three
companies located at 133, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos; Plot
No 1161 (Silverbird Galleria) Central Area Cadastral Zone AOO, Abuja;
and the magnificent structure located at Abonnema Wharf Road and Abali
Park in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The takeover was sequel to the
interim orders granted by Justice C. M. Olatoregun of the Federal High
Court, Lagos, on June 17 (Suit No. FHC/L/CS/790/16 – Asset Management
Corporation of Nigeria & 3 Ors. v. Ben Murray Bruce & 4 others),
which allowed the receiver/manager to take possession of the
The properties were seen being locked up by agents of the
receiver/manager in an exercise carried out under the full supervision
of policemen, as directed by the court order, a copy of which was made
available to SaharaReporters as early as 7:30 am. According to the
order, Murray-Bruce’s companies are owing AMCON the sum of N11 billion,
which the companies have defaulted in its payment. Counsel to the
receiver/manager, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, told SaharaReporters that the
exercise was conducted in accordance with the law.
“The exercise of this morning has all the paraphernalia of legality.
Aside from the fact that the receivership was done pursuant to deeds of
legal mortgages duly executed by the three companies and guaranteed by
Ben Murray-Bruce and four of his brothers, there is a court order
backing same up.
“It must be borne in mind that innocent depositors’ money is what
the common sense propagator and his brothers have been living large and
feeding fat upon without recourse to the interest of the real laborers
who own the money,” Adegoke said.
Murray-Bruce, using his companies in 2005 and 2007 respectively,
borrowed various sums of money from the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and
has consistently defaulted in his repayment obligations. “The said loan
was purchased by AMCON in 2011 after the capital base of Union Bank was
terribly shaky and the common sense senator has persistently failed to
pay the loans and yet has been pretending to be concerned with the
welfare of Nigerians whom he has been skinning alive in order to remain
relevant and live like a king,” Adegoke said with barely disguised glee.
Realizing that the Senator was not ready to pay back the money, AMCON
appointed a receiver/manager to recover the loan. While the agents of
the receiver, officials of AMCON and large contingents of armed police
officers were seen sealing up the premises of Silverbird Group of
Companies in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, the staff of the
companies were lamenting the failure of their principal to meet his
obligations. All efforts to reach the senator proved abortive, as calls
to his mobile phones were “being forwarded to another number”.
A younger brother of the Senator, Guy Murray Bruce came in while the
repossession was going on but drove out a few minutes later. Silverbird
employees and staff of other companies who use the Galleria are
outside, some waiting in the car park just opposite the Galleria.
Photo Credit: @Eloka51