$101m ‘bankruptcy’: Court dismisses Orjiako’s firms applications

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read
Federal High Court, Lagos

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Friday dismissed two applications filed by a businessman, Dr. Ambrose “ABC” Orjiakor, and firms connected to him in an alleged bankruptcy case filed against them by Access Bank Plc.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo who gave the ruling, adjourned till January 22, 2024 to hear pending applications, including Access Bank’s contempt application against Orjiakor.

Access Bank Plc filed the suit marked FHC/L/BK/08/2023, following the alleged inability of Dr. Orjiakor, to pay the $101 million he allegedly owes the bank.

Listed as respondents in the suit are Seplat Energy Plc; Helko Nigeria Limited, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc; Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited; Zebbra Energy Limited; Ordrec Group Limited; Helko Marine Services Limited; Berwick Nigeria Limited; Abbeycourt Petroleum Company Limited; Abbeycourt Energy Services Limited; Abbeycourt Company Limited and Pursley Resources Limited.

In the suit, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) leads a team of counsel on behalf of the Creditor (Access Bank Plc).

Messrs O. Kalu, A. Abdusalam and P. Oyeniko appears for the Debtor; E. Anayo appears for the 1st Respondent (Seplat Energy Plc); Victor SAN appears for the 2nd-4th and 7th-12th Respondents, E. Akpuduko appears for Providus Bank (party which sought to be joined), while other counsel appear for the other respondents.

The 2nd-4th and the 7th-12th Respondents had filed Preliminary Objections against Access Bank’s contempt application against Orjiakor, while Orjiakor filed an application seeking to stay proceedings.

But they were opposed by Ogunba, who argued that the court ought to hear the Creditor’s contempt first.

Ogunba’s application is seeking an order declaring that the alleged debtor is in violation of an order of court by deleting possession marks from the fence of two properties in dispute.

It is also seeking an order compelling the alleged debtor to purge himself by putting back the possession marks on the properties.

The court proceeded to hear the Preliminary Objection and the application seeking to stay proceedings.

When the court resumed on Friday, December 22, Justice Oweibo dismissed the applications and adjourned till January 22, 2024 to hear pending applications, including Access Bank’s contempt application against Orjiakor.

The judge had on July 26, while granting an ex-parte motion filed by Ogunba, froze Orjiako’s bank accounts and other assets over the alleged indebtedness.

He ruled, among others, that the order subsists pending the determination of the bank’s motion on notice for the appointment of a special manager.

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