Court Ordered Mareva Injunction Against Senator Stella Oduah’s Firms’ 21 Bank Accounts Over N8.5bn

301-x-255-youthrevolutionaryparty-wordpress-com1At the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division, holden in Lagos. Interlocutory applications are those made in course of pending proceedings. That is, they are applications that are made to court while an action is pending in court and may be made at any stage of an action.

Court restrains Oduah and firms from withdrawing cash in their various banks account in Nigeria.

Mareva injunction restrain a defendant from removing the money from the country or removing the money from the bank account it were before and during the trial, the objective is to ensure that the money would be available to satisfy, if necessary by means of execution being levied on them, any judgment the plaintiff may obtain in the action against the defendant.

An application for Mareva injunction is by ex parte (urgent) motion supported by an affidavit containing facts upon which the applicant relies for the grant of the order. In order for the application to succeed, the affidavit must disclose: that the defendant has not given any indication of willingness to pay the debt; that there is likelihood of the defendant removing the asset (money) from the country or from the bank account, thus rendering any judgment which the plaintiff may obtain, having no purpose or value.

At the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division, Holden in Lagos, before Hon. Justice Abdulaziz Anka. The court has granted an injunction restraining Senator Stella Oduah and Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and its directors, Sea Shipping Agency Limited, Rotary Engineering Services Limited and Tour Afrique Company Limited from making any withdrawal whatsoever from the bank account of the companies.

The accounts of those firms are domiciled in 21 commercial banks listed before the court. The order followed an alleged indebtedness of $16,412,819.06 and N100,493,225.59 to Sterling Bank.

The Business Manager of Sterling Bank avernment in the affidavit as deposed to states that the bank resorted to filing the suit following the alleged refusal of the oil company to liquidate the loans, which, he said, stood at $16,412,819.06 and N100,493,225.59 as of November 2016.

Sterling Bank’s counsel Kemi Balogun (SAN), obtained an order to serve court processes on the defendants by substituted means by advertising same in the newspaper.

The court also granted an order directing the said commercial banks having Oduah and the four companies’ assets to sequestrate the said indebtedness and keep same in an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, pending the determination of the suit filed before the court to recover the debt.

The order of the court was sequel to an affidavit sworn to by Business Manager, Sterling Bank Plc. Mr. Segun Akinsanya, filed and argued before the court by Sterling Bank Plc’s counsel Kemi Balogun (SAN).

In the affidavit, the deponent averred that on October 8, 2012, that Sterling bank granted a lease/cabotage vessel finance facility to Sea Petroleum and Gas Company in the sum of $10,069,620.25 to finance one unit 5,000MT tanker vessel.

The deponent averred that the loan was secured by unconditional personal guarantee of the companies’ director,  Stella Oduah, and supported by statement of her networth, legal mortgage of two property worth N135 million and power of attorney of the tanker vessel in favour of Sterling Bank.

The deponent averred that there was also a fully executed irrevocable standing payment order and tripartite remittance agreement between First Bank Plc, Sterling Bank and Stella Oduah.

In the affidavit, the deponent further averred that Sea Petroleum and Gas Company requested for and was granted additional facilities in the sum of $449,600 for post-delivery expenses, $642,954 and $350,000 to meet the requisite conditions in securing the release of the tanker from the Federal High Court.

According to the deponent in the affidavit, upon the persistent failure of the Defendants to liquidate their indebtedness, Sterling Bank instructed the law firm of Oluwakemi Balogun to recover the debt.

The counsel to the Defendants, Stella Oduah and her companies urged the court to discharge the order, also filed a preliminary objection urging the court to strike out the suit on the ground that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it.

Court adjourned the case till 20th March, 2017 for ruling on the applications to decide either to vacate the interim order or not and to take the preliminary objection filed by Oduah’s and companies counsel in opposition to the suit.

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