The Federal High Court in Lagos has barred all Nigerian commercial banks from delivering funds totaling N20.7 billion to an oil business, Danium Energy Services Limited, and its Chairman, Kehinde Ogbor, over their alleged indebtedness to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo also issued a Mareva injunction preventing Danium Energy Services Limited and Ogbor from accessing monies totaling N20,732,299,999.21 in their accounts until the hearing and resolution of Union Bank’s Motion on Notice.
Ajibola Bankole Adetutu, Garba Mohammed, and Lolag-Sons Nigeria Company are also named as defendants in the claim.
The judge also issued an injunction prohibiting the defendants from selling, transferring, assigning, or otherwise dealing with the properties used as collateral to finance the loan.
The court also granted the applicant permission to take over ‘possession of the properties’ with the assistance of the court’s Sheriffs without evicting the occupants, as the properties were 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 ordered the order freezing the assets after Union Bank submitted an ex parte motion through its lawyer, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi of AAA Chambers.
Justice Oweibo directed the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, 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; and the Commandant — General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, their Assistants, and all other officers under their command, control, and supervision to assist the applicant and its agents in taking possession o
He further ordered that all processes and orders filed by the applicant in the matter be served on the defendants using substituted measures, such as pasting on their last known addresses.
The bank claimed in an affidavit attached to the exparte application that the defendants had formed a habit of preventing the applicant from recovering debt by bringing bogus lawsuits.
The applicant further claimed that the first and second defendants failed to comply with the March 6, 2018 Memorandum of Settlement, which increased their indebtedness, which they have not attempted to liquidate.
The bank further claimed that the defendants have begun taking efforts to dispose of the properties utilised as collateral for the first defendant’s various lending facilities without due recourse to the applicant.
It is further claimed that the defendants refused to attend any meeting with the applicant to discuss the liquidation of their debt or to liquidate their debts. As a result, their utter silence has raised suspicions.
“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.