Court freezes ex-Reps’ account over alleged N467.9 million debt
JUSTICE Mohammed Yunusa of Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the freezing of accounts of former member of House of Representative, Hon Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya and her company, Dagasteel International Limited in eleven commercial banks over an alleged indebtedness to Sterling Bank Plc.
The debt are made of One Million, Seven Hundred and Seven Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Nine Dollars, Thirty Four Cents ($1.779, 509.34) and another N117.351 million credit facilities advanced to the ex- lawmaker and her company to enable them execute various Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC) and Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) contracts.
Justice Yunusa in the interim order also restrained SPDC and NPA from making or advancing any payment and/ or releasing any funds either in Naira or US Dollars, which sum represents proceeds from SPDC and NPA contract belonging to the first and second defendants or their privies pending the hearing and determination of the motion on Notice dated April 15, 2015.
The order was sequel to a Motion Exparte dated April 16, 2015 and filed by Sterling Bank Plc, through its counsel, Dada Awosika, in which the bank sought an interim Order of Mareva against the former lawmaker, who served as a member of House of Representatives of the National Assembly between 2007 and 2011 over unpaid credit facilities running into several hundred of millions of Naira.
The eleven commercial banks listed in the order and named as respondents in the suit are First Bank PLc, United Bank PLC, Zenith Bank, Enterprise Bank, Skye Bank. Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank and Stanbic IBTC Plc.
Also named as respondents in the suit are Registrar of Titles, Alausa, Lagos state, Registrar of Titles, Asaba, Delta state, Director of Lands, Abuja Geographical Information System, Abuja, SPDC and NPA.
The court further restrained Dagasteel International Limited and Hon Uboh-Ogunkoya either by themselves, agents or privies howsoever described from dealing with, removing, diminishing, transferring their funds with 11 banks ( marked 5th -15th respondents) pending the hearing and determination of the motion of Notice dated April 11, 2015.
In the exparte order, the court directed SPDC, NPA and the 11 banks to file before it their respective affidavits of fact verifying or stating the status of the funds standing to the credit of Dagasteel International Limited and Hon Uboh-Ogunkoya with them pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The court further directed the deputy chief Registrar to take custody of funds disclosed in the verifying affidavit of the SPDC, NPA and the 11 banks ( 3rd-15th Respondents) and that such funds be placed in an interest yielding account with any commercial band as directed by the court in the name of the Deputy Chief Registrar pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated April 15, 2015.
Sterling Bank has in a motion exparte brought pursuant to Order 26, 3ule 7. 28 Rule 2(3) and Order 30 of the Federal High Court, Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act 2004 urged the court to restrained the 11 commercial banks whether by themselves, servants or officers from accepting , honouring or giving effect to any mandate and/ instruction in any manner howsoever prescribed by the former lawmaker and her company for the withdrawal of funds standing in the credit of their account kept with the banks pending the hearing and determination of its motion on notice dated April 15.
The motion was predicated on the ground that Sterling Bank allegedly advanced multiple credit facilities to the lawmaker and her company totalling One Million, Seven Hundred and Seven Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Nine Dollars, Thirty Four Cents ($1.779, 509.34) and another N117.351 million to enable the first and second defendants execute various SPDC and NPA contracts.
According to the motion, the first and second defendants utilised these facilities and the facilities have since matured for repayment and despite several demand notices, the defendants refused and /or neglected to liquidate the loan.