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N58.9billion Loan Dispute: Judge Advise Parties To Reconcile

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Justice Mohammed Liman, of a Federal High Court in Lagos has advised the lawyers to parties in N58.9billion loan dispute between Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited (POON), its affiliate companies and Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to work through the process of settlement and take interest of parties into consideration.

Justice Liman gave this advise when the parties appears before him and reported that they have not been able to agree on terms of settling out of court.

The judge who noted that the actions of the receiver may affect the fiscal policy of the country stated that It is not for the court to set criteria for parties, on how to resolve the disputes.

Justice Liman therefore adjourned to October 13, for the report of settlement.

The judge however noted that if parties did not settle during vacation, they were at liberty to approach the vacation judge to argue any issue that they considered urgent or important.

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During the proceedings, Lead counsel for the firms, OAR Ogunde (SAN) and his AMCON counterpart, Kunle Ogunba (SAN) told the court of the development at the last hearing.

Mr Ogunde, SAN told the court that he has not gotten any feedback that the matter has been settled and therefore intend to proceed with his motion, adding that the claimant/respondent had not shown any concrete step towards settlement.

He informed the court that the order obtained by AMCON was executed against third parties, who had been sent out of the sealed properties.

“If the claimant can be restricted, then this will encourage us to wait for settlement because they are expensive buildings and can attract thieves if left unoccupied,” he submitted.

Mr Ogunde SAN also stated that the liability of third parties would affect his clients and request for an undertaking that would allow them to regain possession of their respective properties.

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In his response, Mr Ogunba, SAN said that the interest of his client should not be jeopardised in the process.

“The decision with respect to the proposal on a settlement cannot be taken in a day. It needs time. If third parties are aggrieved, they know what to do.

“The defendant has a legion of companies, which they operate. We have put a system in place to attend to affected third parties.

“One of them is Saipem Contracting Nig Ltd, who wants to leave and we have instructed them to write to us,” Ogunba, said.

After listening to both counsel, Justice Liman stated that it was improper to drive tenants out and then begin to listen to them.

“It is a bullet approach which is wrong. Once possession is taken, you serve tenants notice and not to drive them out,” he said, adding that there was no justification for AMCON’s action.

He held that the tenants should be allowed to enjoy their tenancies with the option to retain or renew a tenancy, maintaining that third parties should not be prejudicially affected.

Counsel for one of the tenants, Saipem, Mr Olugbenga Onalaja informed the court that he had written to Ogunba (SAN), seeking to be allowed to go into the property to take out its assets since its tenancy had expired.

The court, therefore, struck out the notice of claim filed by Saipem, saying that it had been overtaken by events.

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The judge also discharged all the banks that filed an affidavit indicating that the firms had no account with them.

However, Ogunde SAN, informed the court that its ex-parte order was harming the defendants.

“Our application is ripe for hearing. All the accounts of defendants have been frozen, even accounts of POON, Beam and Trensix on which the orders of court executed in this suit did not cover.

He further stated that his client’s operations of crude oil was been hampered. That up till that day, the defendants had no access to one dollar as all monies went into an account controlled by AMCON and the banks.

“If things are not managed well, oil and gas production will cease. We have been paying despite being in court. How can we continue to pay when the account has been frozen?

“These issues are mitigating against the settlement. There was no point freezing the accounts. People who should be paid are not paid as a result”, he declared.

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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. topcourtnewsng.com 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

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Gbajabiamila Sent To Prison For N30m Housing Fraud Allegations

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A Lagos State Chief Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Yaba, Lagos, has ordered the remand of an Estate Agent, Suleiman Gbajabiamila in Ikoyi correctional centre till November 14, 2022, over housing fraud of N30m.

Gbajabiamila was arraigned on a two-count charge for defrauding a United Kingdom-based Nigerian, Lateef Adeyemo, of the sum of N30 million.

According to the charge, Gbajabiamila, who presented himself as an estate agent, last year fraudulently collected the said sum meant to purchase a two-bedroom flat and failed to deliver as expected between September and October 2021.

Gbajabiamila was said to have been at large for months, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun, on charges bordering on stealing and false presentation, an offence punishable under Section 287 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015..

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Gbajabiamila was first arraigned on June 20, 2022, and the case was adjourned to July 25, but he did not show up during the hearing and had been at large ever since. He was said to have switched off his phone since July , returns home in the middle of the night and leaves home before 5:00a.m. during the period he was at large.

It was said that during the period, he only left the Island twice.

The police claimed that Gbajabiamila has been on a transaction spree during the period and some of the bank transfers were between him and his wife.

The victim also paid a sum of N150,000 for the culprit to be tracked, but it was difficult to track Gbajabiamila down because he decided to be offline.

However, he ran out of luck after he put on his phone on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

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The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in charge of the case, Inspector Femi Ojikutu said the man was fished out the same day.

“I asked him if he was duped so we could make an arrest and he told me that he wasn’t. He said he used the money for charity. His two sureties have also withdrawn their support,” Ojikutu told the court.

After his appearance in court, yesterday, Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun remanded Gbajabiamila in Ikoyi Correctional centre till November 14, 2022.

The court ordered that police officers are to convey the defendant to the said prison and deliver him to the Superintendent, who will receive him into custody and keep him till November 14, 2022

On the next adjourned date, the police are also ordered to convey Gbajabiamila to the Magistrate’s court, Yaba, at 09:00.a.m. for hearing of the matter.

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Importer Agent, Ifeanyi Ezenwabachili Faces N36m Fraud Charges

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The Nigeria Police has arraigned an importer agent, Ifeanyi Ezenwabachili, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, on alleged conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence the sum of about N28m and over $17k.

Ifeanyi Ezenwabachili, was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo led-court, by the men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID Annex) Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on the alleged offences.

Arraigning the defendant, the police counsel, Morufu Animashaun, told the court that Ezenwabachili and others now at large, sometimes in 2021, fraudulently obtained the above mentioned sum from one Festus Egwuim and his business partner.

Animashaun while asking court to take the defendant plea, informed the court that Ezenwabachili obtained a total sum of N27,920 million, under the pretence of clearing 10 forty-feet containers loads of spare parts, through one Emeka Okoli Canice’s account.

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He also informed the court that the defendant obtained the sum of $17,360 USD, from Festus Egwuim’s business partner in China, under the pretence of clearing two containers, but fraudulently converted the money to his personal use.

The defendant however denied the charges and pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Following his plea of not guilty, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date. While equally urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charge.

But the defendant’s counsel led by Mr. Abdullahi Anthony Dania, while moving the defendant’s bail application, urged the court to grant him bail in the most liberal terms.

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Dania particularly pleaded with the court to release his client to him on the ground of ill-health, so that he could have adequate medical attention.

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo admitted bail to the defendant in the sum N5 million with one surety in like sum.

The surety according to the judge, must be a land owner with title documents within the court’s jurisdiction. And that the surety must depose to affidavit of means.

The judge however released the defendant to his counsel for the period of two weeks, after which he will be remanded in NCoS’custody if he failed to meet up with the bail terms.

The defendant’s offences contravened Sections Section 8 (a); 1(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Fraud Offences Act 2006 Act 2006 (as amended) and are punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

It also contravenes Section 383 of the Criminal Code Act Cap.C38, Laws of Federis ation 2004 and punishable under Section 390 of the same Criminal Code Act Cap.C38 Laws of Federation 2004.

 

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Lawyer Writes CJ Over Delay Justice on Missing Vehicle In Judiciary Possession

My Lord, for over eight months the committee had met, our client is yet to hear any response from the commission concerning the missing car hence this letter.

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A school proprietress, Princess Bola Jegede, whose bullet proof car got missing in the custody of the Lagos State Judiciary has asked the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, to reveal findings of the Inquiry Disciplinary Committee panel set up over the issue.

This is contained in a letter written by his lawyer, Yemi Modele, to the office of the Chief Judge after over ten months of waiting for response to her petition.

The letter tagged; “Outcome of Disciplinary Committee Meeting of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission Held on 20/12/2021 not Known” the proprietress said she is yet to get justice or get feedback from the panel of the inquiry.

“Letters had been on behalf of our client to your office in respect of Suit No. MIK/1219/2011 (Mr. Lati Gomes & 20rs vs. Princess Bola Jegede) that a Nissan Maxima (3.5SE) car with registration number BQ775AGL attached to the court after execution could not be found which said development prompted the commission to set up a disciplinary committee which met on 20/12/2021.

“We were invited to the meeting vide a letter dated 15/12/2021 and our client’s was present. Copy of the invitation letter is hereby attached for your references.

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“My Lord, for over eight months the committee had met, our client is yet to hear any response from the commission concerning the missing car hence this letter.

“Our client hereby requests the position of the commission about her missing car without further delay.” the letter reads.

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, had set up a disciplinary committee to unravel the misery surrounding how the Nissan Maxima (3.5SE) with registration No BQ 775 AGL retrieved from the judgment debtor in the suit no. MIK/22/19/11, between Lati Gomes and Princess Bola Jegede got missing.

The committee was set up following a petition written by Princess Bola Jegede, a Proprietress of A-Z International College.

The then Head of Deputy Sheriff Section, Lagos, Mrs Julie Abieyuwa Anabor, who is now a judge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal had on March 28, 2013, executed the judgment against the judgement debtor pursuant to judgment delivered on June 28, 2012.

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Executing the judgement, Justice Anabor impound two Toyota Hummer school buses and a bullet proof Nissan Maxima.

The Proprietress in a series of letters written to the present Chief judge, stated that the parties had since settled their differences as the judgment creditor and debtor have compromised their position.

Judgment debtors had then asked the Deputy Registrar to release the properties as stated in the attached copy of inventory and release the same to the rightful owner in compliance with the order of the court.

The Chief Magistrate F. A. Azeez had in a suit deliver judgement over rent of property between the trustees of the estate of honourable Justice T.S Gomes and Princess Bola Jegede wherein court ordered defendant to pay the sum of N9 million as arrears of rent from January 2005 to 2008 and January 2009 to 2010.

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Consequently, the debt the defendant couldn’t pay thereafter led to the execution of the Judgment, before both parties were able to settle the rift.

However, Justice Anabor, released the two school buses with registration no UF 129 KJA and UF 128 KJA but refused to release the Nissan Maxima (3.5SE) with registration no BQ775 AGL.

The School Proprietress has through his lawyer, Mr Omodele, in a letter dated October 14, 2020 to the Deputy Sheriff to release the remaining one vehicle, Nissan Maxima car in the interest of justice as the last hope of a common man.

However, investigation revealed that Justice Julie Anabor the Head of Deputy Sheriff (as at then) authorized the release of the bulletproof vehicle from the Strabag warehouse, Ikeja.

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