Court to hear Access Bank contempt suit against Orjiakor Oct 20

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday fixed October 20, to hear Access Bank’s application alleging contempt by a businessman, Dr. Ambrosie “ABC” Orjiakor in a bankruptcy suit by the bank against him.

The application, filed by the bank through its counsel Mr. Kunle Ogunba SAN, is seeking an order declaring that the alleged debtor had violated an order of court by deleting possession marks from the fence of two properties. It is also seeking an order compelling the debtor to purge himself by putting back the possession marks on the properties.

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

The 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.

The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo had on July 26, while granting an ex-parte motion filed by Access Bank’s lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), 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.

The court also restrained Orjiako and his agents or any other person under his authority or any other authority from operating, withdrawing from or otherwise tampering and/or dealing with his funds in any Bank and/or Financial institution in Nigeria

The court further forbade Orjiako’s former employers and his other investment vehicles from having anything to do with him financially until his indebtedness is cleared.

At the last hearing of the matter on September 26, Babajide Koku (SAN), who led a team for the 2,3,4,7,8,9,10,11 and 12th Respondents, moved an application to vary or correct a purported error in the court’s order.

Ogunba adopted the Creditor’s Counter Affidavit and Written Address filed in opposition to the application.

Consequently, the judge adjourned till October 3 for ruling.

At the resumption of proceedings on Tuesday, Justice Oweibo held that there was no error or mistake in the court’s order.

He dismissed the 2nd Respondent’s application noting that the preservative orders of court (granting possession to Access Bank) made in the suit subsists, adding that the Debtor and his family be allowed temporary access to their residence.

Ogunba led a team on behalf of the Creditor (Access Bank); Anthony Idigbe (SAN) led a team on behalf of the Debtor; Opeyemi Adekoya for the 1st Respondent; T. Ipaye for 2,3,4,7,8,9,10,11,12 Respondents; Dr. K. O. Ezeoke for the 5th-6th Respondents; and Oluwakemi Balogun (SAN) led a team for Zenith Bank Plc./Party affected by the preservative order of court.

Earlier, Ogunba informed the court of the creditor’s affidavit and pending Motion on Notice both dated 29th September, 2023 seeking to notify the court of the Debtor’s alleged continuous contempt of court wherein he unlawfully repainted the fences of the attached properties {6 Agodogba Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi and 25A, Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi}; thereby defacing the marks of execution thereon.

But the alleged Debtor’s counsel, while maintaining ignorance of this incident, maintained that he was yet to get feedback from his client.

After delivering its ruling on the application seeking to correct the alleged error and/or omission, Justice Oweibo adjourned till October 20, 2023 to hear Access Bank’s application dated 29th September, 2023.

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