The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained all commercial banks in Nigeria from releasing funds totalling N20.7 billion to an Oil company, Danium Energy Services Limited, and its Chairman, Kehinde Ogbor, over their alleged indebtedness to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo also granted an order of Mareva injunction restraining Danium Energy Services Limited and Ogbor from accessing funds totalling N20,732,299,999.21 in their accounts pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice brought against them by Union Bank.
Other respondents in the suit are Ajibola Bankole Adetutu, Garba Mohammed and Lolag-Sons Nigeria Company.
The judge further granted an order restraining the defendants from selling, transferring, assigning and dealing with the properties used as collateral to secure the loan.
The court also granted Leave to the applicant to take over the ‘possession of the properties’ with the assistance of the court’s Sheriffs without evicting the occupants, being properties used as security for repayment of the loan arising from the offer letters and the Memorandum of Settlement dated March 6, 2018, pending the hearing and final determination of the Originating Summons.
The judge granted the order freezing the assets following an exparte application filed by Union Bank through its lawyer, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi of AAA Chambers.
Justice Oweibo directed the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, their Deputies, Assistants and all other officers under their command, control and supervision; the Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, their Assistants and all other officers under their power to assist the applicant and its agents take over possession of the listed properties.
He further ordered that all the processes filed by the applicant in the suit and the orders should be served on the defendants through substituted means by pasting on their last known addresses.
In an affidavit attached to the exparte application, the bank had claimed that the defendants had developed a penchant for frustrating the applicant from recovering debt by filing frivolous suits.
The applicant also alleged that the first and second defendants have failed to comply with the Memorandum of Settlement dated March 6, 2018, which has increased their indebtedness that they have not attempted to liquidate.
The Bank also averred that the defendants have started taking steps towards the disposal of the properties used as security to the several loan facilities granted to the first defendant without due recourse to the applicant.
It’s also stated that the defendants allegedly refused to come for any meeting with the applicant to discuss the liquidation of their debt or liquidate their indebtedness. As such, their deafening silence has become suspicious.
“That the Plaintiff/Applicant reasonably believes that the defendants are on the verge of unbundling their assets to an unknown destination without contacting the Plaintiff/Applicant.
“Except this Honourable Court grants this application, the first defendants would dissipate their assets and transfer all the proceeds out of the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court. Thus, it will be impracticable for the Plaintiff/Applicant to recover the depositors’ funds availed to the 1st Defendant as credit facilities.”
Justice Oweibo has fixed October 13 for the hearing of the motion on notice.