Former Governor of Cross River State and presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Mr. Donald Duke, says he doesn’t understand why everyone was “having fun at his expense” after the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) sealed his property in upmarket Ikoyi, Lagos; and went to town with news that he is owing N537, 334,360.77.



Donald Duke’s property located at 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos [TheCable]

Duke, AMCON and United Bank for Africa (UBA) have since reached an out-of-court settlement.

The former governor shelled out a princely N340m as payment for debt owed, following a ruling from vacation judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

Duke however says there was an attempt to arm-twist him into paying more—a move he resisted.

“AMCON made a claim of N569m against me which I disputed. I guess to arm twist me they proceeded to court and created a media circus. Having done what I consider their worst, I insisted on what I believe is the correct amount. We have since agreed to this amount and the sum of N340m has been paid.

“I hope this takes the air off the sail of those who made a mountain out of a molehill. There was nothing to be excited about after all”, Duke said in a statement sent Pulse’ way.



Donald Duke’s property located at 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos [TheCable]

Duke said he couldn’t understand the media frenzy the case enjoyed because he isn’t the biggest debtor in the land by a long stretch.

“An obligation I had to AMCON has made the news. I do not understand the excitement this has generated, bearing in mind that debts far, far in excess of this have not received a whisper. Clearly some people are having fun at my expense.

“Nevertheless, I think it appropriate now that the issue has been laid to rest, to state my side of the matter, considering the fervour the story generated,” Duke said.



Duke had a presidential run to forget (Punch)

On August 21, the court discharged an interim order granting AMCON and UBA permission to seize Duke’s properties and the funds in his accounts.

In clearing Duke of the debt burden this week, Oweibo declared that “all orders in the case stand discharged.”

AMCON’s counsel, Mrs. Juliet Benson, had informed the judge that Duke had fulfilled the terms of the out-of-court settlement and both parties had agreed to the terms.

Fresh faced, brimming with ideas, suave, debonair, well-read and blessed with the gift of gab, Duke’s politics has been mediocre and uninspiring since he exited Government House Calabar in 2007. 

After storming out of the then governing People’s Democratic Party (PDP), citing ideological differences, Duke slipped into political oblivion, only to re-emerge just months before the 2019 general elections.



Donald Dukes latches his lapel mic before a chat with Pulse (Pulse)

His presidential candidacy on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was challenged by former Minister Jerry Gana, well into the elections, a scenario that contributed to making Duke’s presidential run a lackluster, lifeless and tepid affair–one that was over before it even began.

Duke left no dent on the outcome of the general vote and left no impressions on the minds of eligible voters.


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