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Court restrains Debt Management Office from paying N628m to oil firm

Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos Friday granted a Mareva Order restraining the Debt Management Office (DMO) from paying an oil firm, Vine Oil & Gas Ltd and a businessman, Ben Chukwujama, the sum of N628 million standing to their credit at Sterling Bank.

The judge made the order following an application by D.A. Awosika (SAN), for the 1st plaintiff/respondent, Sterling Bank. The oil firm, Chukwujama and DMO are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants/respondents in the suit.

Granting the prayers, the judge held: “The plaintiff (Sterling Bank) has shown that the 1st and 2nd defendants have been taking advantage of the funds/promissory notes in the 3rd defendant’s custody to deplete same and in satisfaction of their debts to other financial institutions.

“These depositions were not challenged by the 1st and 2nd defendants by way of an affidavit or documentary evidence. Failure to counter an allegation made by an adverse party in an affidavit amounts to the fact being deemed established.

“The Mareva orders prayed by the plaintiff is merely to secure or preserve the res, which is the sum of N628 million in the custody of the 3rd defendants. I therefore grant as follows:

“The 3rd defendant whether by itself, its agents are restrained from paying the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents the N628 million or any sum standing to the credit of the 1st defendant/respondent as Excess Bank Interest and Foreign Exchange Differentials to be paid as Promissory Notes (PNs) or however described for the defendant/respondent’s outstanding payment pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“The 1st and 2nd defendants are restrained from approaching or applying to the 3rd defendant/respondent to be paid the N628 million or any sum outstanding to the credit of the 1st the defendant/respondent as “Excess Bank Interest” and “Foreign Exchange Differentials or however described…for the 1st Defendant/ Respondent’s outstanding payment under the defunct Petroleum Support Fund Scheme (PSFS) pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“The 3rd defendant/respondent is directed to release the Promissory Notes issued in the name of the 1st Defendant in the sum of N628 million to the plaintiff/applicant to enable the plaintiff/applicant process and dematerialize the said Promissory Notes with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that the proceeds arising therefrom be deposited into the defendant’s account with the plaintiff/applicant”.

 

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