Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, in Lagos, will on November 3, 2021, determine whether or not or to not vacate a freezing order positioned on about 20 financial institution accounts belonging to the Bauchi State authorities.
This is said to a swimsuit filed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over alleged N1.5 billion debt.
Justice Aneke fastened the matter for ruling after listening to submissions of counsel for AMCON, Mr. Olugbuyiro Akinola, and that of Bauchi State, Mr. Sylvester Elema SAN.
AMCON had in fits numbers, FHC/L/AMC/64/2021, FHC/CS/AMC/66/2021, and FHC/L/AMC/67/2021 alleged that the Bauchi State authorities borrowed the cash from Equatorial Trust Bank (now Sterling Bank Plc).
Defendants within the fits are the Attorney-General of Bauchi State, Bauchi State authorities, Accountant-General, Bauchi State, Chief Administrative Officer of Hospital Management Board, Bauchi State, Chief Accountant Hospital Management Board Branch, Bauchi State, and the Amalgamated Union of Pubic Corporation, Civil Service, Technical & Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
AMCON had prayed the court docket to freeze the state’s financial institution accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria and 20 different banks. Some of the banks affected are Access Bank Plc, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited, ECOBANK Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, Heritage Bank Plc, Polaris Bank Plc and Keystone Bank Plc.
Other banks are Providus Bank, Standard IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, Sterling Bank Plc, Suntrust Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc.
A trip choose, Justice Tijjani Ringim had on August 30, 2021, granted a movement ex parte dated July 19, 2021, filed by AMCON, praying the court docket to limit the respondents both instantly or not directly from transferring, withdrawing, or coping with or disposing of any of the monies standing to the credit score of the respondents within the Central Bank of Nigeria to the overall excellent debt of N271,489, 820.75.
Justice Ringim additionally directed the Central Securities Clearing Systems Plc to supply info and particulars of the respondents’ firms and pursuits, together with shares, shares, securities, and dividends to AMCON or its counsel.
The court docket additional made an order compelling all of the banks to reveal and produce financial institution particulars, statements of accounts, financial institution balances, and monies standing to the credit score of the respondents.
AMCON had via his lawyer, Olugbuyiro Akinola said that the Amalgamated Union of Public Technical & Recreational Services Employees, Hospital Management Board, Bauchi State obtained mortgage services in eight batches from Equatorial Trust Bank Limited (now Sterling Bank Plc).
He averred that eight mortgage services had been supplied to the defendants on February 3, 2009, within the sum of N15,000,000.00 every making a complete of a N120,000,000.00 on the contractual fee of twenty-two per cent every every year for 16 months, to amass property in favour of the members of the 6 defendants in Bauchi State.
He argued that in accordance with the situations precedent for drawdown as contained within the Offer letters the 4th and fifth defendants executed a company assure in favour of Equatorial Trust Bank Limited (now Sterling Bank Plc.) stating that the overall mortgage sum, in addition to the accrued curiosity, could be repaid as and when due. He added that the defendants ‘are indebted to the AMCON within the sum of N293,997,934.16 million as of thirtieth of June 2021, plus accrued curiosity at 17 % being the principal sum and accrued pursuits.
In one of many fits, AMCON can also be claiming N346, 611,547.34 million being the sum owed by the state authorities, which arose from the credit score facility prolonged to Bauchi state by Equatorial Trust Bank (now Sterling Bank Plc) which the State authorities allegedly failed or refused to liquidate.
AMCON can also be demanding the sum of N100 million generally damages for breach of contract and for the price of submitting the swimsuit. But, the Bauchi State authorities in an utility to vacate the freezing order challenged the jurisdiction of the court docket arguing, that the sum of money said within the stated order because the excellent debt was false and manifestly inflated.
The state via its lawyer, Sylvester Elema (SAN) said that each events within the swimsuit met on August 24, 2021, and resolved the subject material of the swimsuit, a undeniable fact that was allegedly hidden from the court docket as on the date the orders had been made.
“It, therefore, follows that the said orders made by this court on August 30, 2021 are not valid in law since the said orders are not supported by the provisions of Section 49, 50 and 50A of the AMCON Act 2010,” he stated.