A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria, has ordered eleven commercial banks in Nigeria not to allow a former female member of House of Representative, Engineer Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya, from withdrawing money from her accounts domicile with them pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The affected banks includes United Bank Plc; First Bank Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Enterprise Bank Limited; Skye Bank Plc; Heritage Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Plc; Mainstreet Bank Plc; Union Bank Plc; Diamond Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Plc.
The order of the court was sequel to an application filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Barrister Dada Awosika on behalf of a commercial bank, Sterling Bank Plc, against the former female lawmaker, who represented Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State between 2007-2011, and her company, Dagasteel International Limited.
Aside from the order freezing the female politician’s accounts in the eleven commercial banks, the Presiding Judge, Yunusa Mohammed also made an interim order restraining the Registrar of Titles of Lagos and Delta states, and Director of Lands, Abuja Geographical Information System, from making any advancing payment and /or releasing any funds either in Naira or US dollar, which sum represents proceeds from Shell Petroleum Development Company,(SPDC), and Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA), contract belonging to the former Female lawmaker’s company, or her agent, privies, assigns or anyone acting through the lawmaker or her company.
Sterling Bank Plc in an affidavit sworn to by Mr. Tunji Bajowa, a senior recovery officer of Sterling Bank in a suit number FHC/L/CS/520/15, filed before the court by its lawyer, Dada Awosika, stated that Engr. Uboh-Ogunkoya, who was the senatorial candidate of Labour Party in Delta North in the recently conducted general election, was granted multiple credit facilities of $1,600,000, and N100 million, to fund the completion of the contract awarded by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SDPC, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited, (PPMC), to her company, Dagasteel International Limited.
The bank alleged that Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya as at the time the credit facilities were being granted to her, made available her property measuring 3,055,195 SQM, situated at 22, Onuwa street, behind Ogbe-Umudia mixed secondary school, Agbor, Ika south local government. And another property measuring 1334,342 SQM, belonging to one Adebowale Ogunkoya, situated at Victory Estate, Ajah, in Eti-osa Local Government Area of Lagos state and a property situated at 11, Abdou Diof Crescent, Federal Territory, as security/collateral for the loan.
Mr. Bajowa averred that the former lawmaker and her company, Dagasteel International limited, utilized the multiple credit facilities it granted them to procure and install materials as per the terms contained in their various contracts from SPDC and NPA.
The bank further alleged that it has always been up and doing in requesting for updates on the SPDC and NPA projects from the former female lawmaker and her company, particularly, on the payment status of the SPDC and NPA’s project and that several letters have been written to the two defendants for confirmation of domiciliation of SPDC projects’ proceeds to the defendants’ banks accounts and that when it realised that the installation of the contract material has been completed and payments were being processed, but the two defendants rebuffed its letters.
The bank stated that upon inquiry conducted by its officials at SPDC Port Harcourt, it was informed that the two defendants had processed the first part of the SPDC’s contract and the proceeds in excess of USD 1,600,000, diverted by the two defendants for their personal use.
The bank added that, it came to its knowledge that the said sum of USD 1,600,000, was diverted and utilized by the former female lawmaker to prosecute her senatorial ambition both at primary level of her party politics, as well as the general election to the National Assembly for 2015 session.
The bank further averred that the second phase of the payment of proceed from SPDC contract that it financed is now being processed by the lawmaker and her company first as well as payment due from NPA contract and that the two defendants have evinced intention to divert both payments.
The plaintiff also stated that it had caused several demand notices to be issued and served on the former lawmaker and her company but all to no avail, as they are not interested in liquidating their indebtedness. Rather, the two defendants are making frantic efforts to diminish, interfere and/or dissipate the assets/properties already pledged as securities to it, to liquidate their indebtedness in the event of default on the part of the two defendants.
Consequently, Sterling Bank is seeking an order of the court against the defendants on the payment of USD 1, 770, 509.34 (one million, seven hundred and seventy nine thousand, five hundred and nine Dollars, thirty four Cents) and N117, 351, 475. 54 (One hundred and seventeen million, three hundred and fifty one thousand, four hundred seventy five Naira, fifty four kobo), which represent amount outstanding from multiple credit facilities granted and utilized by the two defendants for the execution of contract awarded by SPDC and NPA to the two defendants and interest on the said sum at 21 percent per annum, which represents CBN’s prime leading rate, from March 3, 2015, until judgment is delivered and thereafter at 10 percent after judgment until judgment sum is totally liquidated.
An order directing that monies/funds belonging to the two defendants in custody or possession of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and funds standing to credit of the two defendants in various financial institutions be paid over to Sterling Bank, in part satisfaction of the defendants indebtedness.
An order of foreclosure and directing judicial sale of properties of the defendants assets/properties at 22, Onuwa street, Boji-Boji, Agbor, IJA south Local Government, Delta State; 11, Abdou Diof Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja, and Victory Estate, Ajah, Lagos, and that proceeds of such sales be applied towards satisfaction of the defendants’ indebtedness, and an order of injunction restraining Registrar of Titles, Lagos state, Registrar of Titles, Delta State and Director of Lands, Abuja, who are third to fifth defendants in this suit, from registering any third party interests on any of the defendants’ assets/properties, except party that obtains titles pursuant to the judicial sale.
An order for payment of bank’s counsel’s fees of N12, 500, 000, in line with Clause 14 of the Credit Facility Agreement between the bank and the defendants dated August 22, 2013.
The matter has been adjourned till May 19th for report of compliance.