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Business News of Thursday, 8 April 2021

Source: The Nation

N2.1b ‘debt’: Court blocks five customers’ funds in 24 banks

The judge adjourned till April 14 for hearing of the interlocutory application. The judge adjourned till April 14 for hearing of the interlocutory application.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained Triton Aqua Africa Limited, Bharat Ventures Limited, Globus Resources Limited, Seafood Products Limited and Mr. Ashvin Samtani from accessing their N2,193,610,859.47 billion in 24 banks.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, who gave the order yesterday, ruled that the interim order subsists pending the hearing and determination of the Motion and Notice filed by Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, through its counsel, Gbenga Akinde-Peters of Temilolu Adamolekun & Co.

The judge also restrained the defendants, in the interim, from disposing of their assets at 49 Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ijeshatedo, Lagos and 27, Inuwa Abdulkadir Road, Kakuri Industrial Layout, Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The banks, which are the sixth to 28th respondents, are: Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Globus Bank Limited, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited and Providus Bank.

Others are: Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria Limited, Standard Charted Bank Nigeria Limited, Sterling Bank, Suntrust Bank Nigeria Limited, Titan Trust Bank Limited, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and Zenith Bank Plc.

The order followed Union Bank’s March 4, 2021 motion ex parte, which sought restrain the defendants in the alleged debt recovery suit.

The judge stopped the five defendants, in the interim, “from dealing with any of the funds standing to their credit in custody or that may come to be in custody of the sixth to 28th respondents up to the tune of N2,193,610,859.47 or its equivalent in any foreign currency, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion and Notice”.

She also restrained the 24 banks and Union Bank or anyone acting on their behalf from releasing to the first to fifth defendants any money, funds or any other instrument belonging to them up to N2,193,610,859.47 or its equivalent in any foreign currency, that may be or found in their custody or possession.

Justice Oguntoyinbo further restrained in the interim Triton Aqua Africa, Bharat Ventures, Globus Resources, Seafood Products and Samtani or anyone under their authority from tempering with, their assets/properties within their premises at 49 Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ijeshatedo, Lagos State.

The first to fifth defendants or anyone under their authority were also restrained in the interim from tempering with any of the first to the third defendants’ assets/properties “within the premises of the property at 27, Inuwa Abdulkadir Road, Kakuri Industrial Layout, Kaduna South Local Government Area, Kaduna, particularly but not limited to all the assets/properties of the fifth defendant, which have been charged in favour of the plaintiff by virtue of a Deed of All Assets Debenture, dated May 25, 2011, between Seafood Products Limited (the issuer) and the plaintiff on the account of the second defendant”.

The sixth to 28th respondents were also directed “to disclose on oath whatever sum of money that may be in their custody belonging to the defendants for further direction of the Honourable Court”.

The judge adjourned till April 14 for hearing of the interlocutory application.

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