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Contempt: Court Vacates Order Sentencing Fidelity Bank MD To Prison



A Lagos Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja, has vacated its ruling that convicted and sentenced the Managing Director and Company Secretary of Fidelity Bank Plc to six weeks in prison or a fine of Four Hundred Thousand Naira respectively for contempt.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Lateef Owolabi vacated the order in a Suit No: MIK/4726/22 between Justin Ahmed, (judgement creditor), Prince Enabulele Osazee, (judgement debtor) and Fidelity Bank Plc, (1st Garnishee/Applicant).

The court in an earlier ruling delivered on February 6, 2023, held that the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nneka Chinwe Onyeali-Ikpe and the Company Secretary, Mrs. Unuigboje Ezinwa should be committed to six weeks’ imprisonment over alleged disobedience of a garnishee order of the court restraining the bank from allowing a judgement debtor access to his account.

However, at the resumed proceedings on the matter on Feb 15, 2023, the court vacated the committal order on the premise of facts presented before the court that the alleged acts of contempt were not deliberate but arose out of communication gap between the said parties and the erstwhile counsel.

Read Also: Court Grants Nollywood Actress N5m Bail Over Abusing New Currency

The court in its ruling also stated that the error or sin of the counsel should not be visited on a party or litigants.

The court also noted that the monies which were the subject matter and fulcrum of the contempt proceedings have since been paid to the judgment creditor.

“From the materials presented before this court by the applicant, this application falls within the classic rule where the error or sin of the counsel should not be visited on a party or litigants.

Moreover, the applicant has averred that the monies subject matter, the fulcrum of the contempt proceedings had since been paid to the judgment creditor. Having fully discharged this payment to the satisfaction of the judgment creditor, this court should not be seen to cry more than the bereaved”, Mr Lateef Owolabi held.

Also Read: N20bn Theft: Witness Narrates How First Bank Officials Connive With Hackers

*The solicitor to the bank explained that Fidelity Bank, being a law abiding institution that will never or under any circumstance, directly or indirectly denigrate the integrity of the nation’s judiciary, had upon receipt of the garnishee order nisi on December 22, 2022, conducted a search immediately, and the result showed several accounts bearing similar names to the Judgment Debtor’s (Prince Enabulele Osazee).*

To prevent the bank from erroneously restricting the wrong account, the bank filed an affidavit requesting additional account details to enable it ascertain the correct account(s) to restrict.

He further stated that, on January 16, 2023, the bank received the Judgment Creditor’s affidavit showing the account number of the Judgment Debtor. Armed with the correct account number, the bank immediately identified and placed a lien on the Judgment Debtor’s account. Unfortunately, during the intervening period, the judgement debtor had carried on depositing and withdrawing from his account.

In vacating the order on February 15, 2023, the Chief Magistrate held that based on the materials before the court, the applicant has been able to tether the law to the facts to warrant the grant of the relief sought on their own strength and not based on lack of opposition.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government


Elizade Varsity Erstwhile VC Appeals $720,000 Fraud Conviction




The former Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, Professor Adekunle Oloyede has approached the state High Court asking for a setting aside of his conviction for $720,000.00 fraud at the Magistrate court.

Mrs. Aderemi Adegoroye, a Chief Magistrate, in her judgment delivered on 25th January 2023, found the Australia-based professor of Medical Engineering guilty of all six-count charges of conspiracy to steal, obtain by false pretence, obtaining under false pretences of the sum of Seven Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($720,000.00) on 3rd March 2015 under the pretext of constructing 500-bed space hostel at Elizade University using panel building technology from Australia.

Professor Oloyede was also accused of obtaining another Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) on 28 April 2017 from Mike Ade Investment Limited for Duro Global Property Limited for the same purpose of constructing a 500-bed hostel.

He was also alleged to have obtained another One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000.00) on 19 May 2015 from Omimeje Resources Limited for Duro Global Property Limited for the same purpose of constructing a 500-bed hostel.

He was also accused of another Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($650,000.00) from Elizade Investment Limited for the same purpose. According to the Ondo State Director of Public Prosecution represented by Mr O.E Akintan, the alleged offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 419 of the state Criminal Code.

He pleaded not guilty.

Click To Also Read: $498,000 Laundering: Court Reserves Judgement on Bail of Rivers Rep

However, at trial, Prof. Oloyede insisted he did not connive with anyone but merely acted as an intermediary and introduced the two parties.

He claimed no knowledge of when Chief Ade Ojo, owner of Elizade University, paid $720,000.00 or $250, 00.00 or $150, 000.00 to Duro Global Property Limited.

He told the court that it was after Adeojo had sent the money that he (Chief Michael Ade Ojo) informed him about it. He also said he was not at the meeting where the parties agreed to the contract between them.

He said the reason $650,000.00 was sent to him (which was the only money that passed through him) was because of his role under the Power of Attorney.

He also told the court that Chief Ade Ojo paid $720,000.00, $250, 00.00 or $150,000 to Duro Global Property Limited. He said it was after Chief Ade Ojo had sent the money that he (Chief Michael Ade Ojo) informed him about it. He also said he was not at the meeting where the parties agreed to the contract between them.

However, Mrs. Adegoroye was not convinced of the evidence-in-chief of the ex-VC. She found him guilty and sentenced him to a cumulative eight years in prison with an option of a fine of Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000.00) only.

Read Also: Court Summons DIG Over Controversial Order Freezing Customer Account

Our correspondent reports that Professor Oloyede was not incarcerated as he opted for the fine option.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied with the decision of the court and determined to set aside the judgment, Professor Oloyede, through his counsel, Oke Olusola Esq. of Chief G. O. Ijalana Esq and Olusola Oke & Co of Graceville Law House, filed seven grounds of appeal.

Among others, Professor Oloyede insists Mrs. Adegoroye erred in law when she assumed jurisdiction to try the case notwithstanding that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case; that she reached a perverse decision when she relied on Exhibit p.28 to convict him; and that she further erred when she relied on substantive charge in count 3, 4, 5 and 6 which are on obtaining money under pretence to convict and sentence him on court 1, even though he was not charged with the offence of stealing.

Other grounds of appeal cited by Professor Oloyede are miscarriage of justice occasioned by the finding of the court that the purpose of the money was for the payment of building materials which creates a big doubt in the case of the prosecution. Professor Oloyede, on a final note, insists that the entire decision of the magistrate court is unreasonable, unwarranted and cannot be supported having regard to the weight of evidence.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application.


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Police Arraigns Businessman, Olusegun Ogunbanjo, For N950m Fraud




The Nigeria Police has arraigned a businessman, Olusegun Ogunbanjo, who allegedly defrauded two men to the tune of N950m, before a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

The defendant was arraigned on a three-count charge which borders on false pretences, forgery and stealing.

The prosecutor, Rita Momah, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, told the court that the defendant committed the offences between January 2017 and December 2022 in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

Momah submitted that the defendant obtained N450m from one Mr Olusola lkuyajesin and N500m from one Mr Durodola Balogun under false pretences of using the money to buy stationery.

Click To Read: Chrisland Sex-tape Saga: Police Arraigns Four Teachers

She added that the defendant forged an organisation’s Local Purchase Orders to carry out the acts, in contravention of Sections 287, 314 and 365 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Olatubosun, granted him bail in the sum of N10m with two sureties in like sum

Also Read:Police Arraigns Car Dealers Over Alleged $112,000 Fraud

Magistrate Olatubosun ordered that the defendant must deposit his passport with the court.

She also directed that one of the sureties must have a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.

She adjourned the case till April 5 for a substantive hearing

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Court Suspends Roger Brown As Seplat Energy CEO




The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an interim order restraining Mr. Roger Brown from parading himself as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc.

Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke ruled that the order stands pending the determination of a suit instituted against the company chief and others by aggrieved stakeholders of the company.

The applicants, in the motion ex parts filed before the court, alleged racism, favouring expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.

The court also restrained the firm’s Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Basil Omiyi, and all the Non-Executive Directors under him from “continuing to run the affairs of Seplat in an illegal, unfair, prejudicial, and oppressive manner pending the hearing and determination of the Petitioner’s Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction”.

Also Read: Judicial Council Restores Suspended Judge in Ekiti State

Justice Aneke made the order while ruling on a motion ex parte brought by some aggrieved Seplat Energy Plcs stakeholders.

The applicants/petitioners in the suit are: Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe.

Seplat Energy PLC, Mr. Roger Thompson Brown, and Mr. Basil Omiyi, were listed as respondents in the suit.

Also, following a separate ex parte application, Justice Aneke granted the petitioners/applicants leave to serve the petition, any order of court and all other processes to be issued subsequently in the matter on Brown and Omiyi by pasting on the premises of Seplat Energy located at Ikoyi, Lagos.

The court adjourned till March 23 for hearing of the pending application.

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