Arik vows to challenge Govt. takeover

Ebun Francis with agency report

The management of Arik Air will challenge the take over of the airline by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in court, aacording to Ado Sanusi, Senior Vice President of the Airline.

Sanusi made the disclosure at a joint news conference with the newly appointed receiver manager, Oluseye Opasanya, and the airline’s technical consultant, Roy Ilegbodu.

AMCON, had on Thursday taken over the airline following its huge indebtedness to local and foreign creditors.

According to Sanusi, “As responsible citizens, we have obeyed the court order which appointed the Olaniwun Ajayi (SAN) as the receivership manager.

“We will comply but I want to make it clear that we have a right to challenge the court order.

“In the coming days, we will make our position known. It is a court order and we can challenge it and we will challenge it to the highest court of authority”.

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He however, said that while the legal battle continue, the parties had agreed that it is important  Arik Air continue to fly.

Also speaking, Mr. Opasanya said AMCON was on a rescue mission to re-position the embattled airline.

Mr. Opasanya said :”AMCON has been a creditor to Arik for sometime. It also has security over substantial parts of the assets of Arik.

“The debt of Arik to AMCON has not been paid and huge sums of money is owed.

“So AMCON, having consulted widely with government authorities, has decided to appoint me to preside over the affairs of Arik.

“So we have come to supervise the operation, sustain the operation, improve services and ensure that we support Arik with people of deep knowledge, experience and commitment in the airline industry.”

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According to him, Arik plays a pivotal role in the airline industry and many Nigerians are currently drawing their means of livelihood from the company.

“We have addressed the workers and the management and we want to assure other stakeholders and members of the public that the desire of AMCON is to keep the airline flying.

“AMCON is willing to support the operation of Arik and together with the government, work to meet the immediate essential needs of the company, “he said.

On his part, Mr. Ilegbodu said Arik had 28 aircraft in its fleet but only 10 are currently being used for operations.

He said his duty as technical consultant was to get to the root of the problems bedevilling the airline to ensure its sustainability.