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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Ogboru battles to lift freezing order on his accounts in 26 banks

Ogboru battles to lift freezing order on his accounts in 26 banks

Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru

Gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party in Delta state in the last general election Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru and his two companies Sofimar Fisheries Nigeria limited and Grato Nigeria Limited have filed an application before a Federal high court in Lagos, urging the court to stay the execution of the order of the court restraining him and his two companies from operating their bank accounts in 26 banks in Nigeria listed before the court, as a result of their alleged indebtedness of N925,138,106.58 to Syke bank Plc.

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Sometimes in November last year based on an Ex-parte application filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Mr Oluwakemi Balogun SAN on behalf of Skye bank Plc urging the court to restrain Ogboru and his two companies and their agents from making any withdrawal from their bank accounts in 26 banks in Nigeria, over an alleged indebtedness to Skye bank to the tune of N925,138,106.58

The various credit facilities granted to Sofimar Fisheries Nigeria limited were guaranteed by Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru.

In her ruling, the trial judge , Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo ordered the 26 banks listed before the court having the defendants assets up to the outstanding indebtedness of the defendants to the plaintiff in the sum of N925,138,106.58 as at June 2017 owed by the defendants to the plaintiff should be sequestrated and keep same in an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court pending the determination of the suit

Justice Oguntoyinbo, also directed the plaintiff to file a proper undertaking in the court.

However, in an affidavit sworn to by the Manager of Sofimar Fisheries Nigeria limited, Mr Victor Agberien and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Chief Nelson Imoh, the defendants urged the court to set aside the order and stay the execution of the order of the court.

Agberien averred that the Federal Government of Nigeria owes the defendants and their sister company not less than $20million or about N7.2Billion from which the sum of N1.6billion domiciliation of funds proceeds was issued to Skye bank by the ministry of Justice on behalf of the defendants and at the request of the defendants, that the domiciliation of proceeds of N1.6billion in favor of the bank on behalf of the defendants is still with the bank

In August, 2016, a reconciliation of the final figures owed the defendants was sent to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for payment. The approval to pay the defendants company $20 million was obtained only on 17th May, 2017.

That it was agreed at the meeting of 30th of November, 2017 between the defendants and the representatives of Federal Government, -judgement debt committee as follows: that the defendants would be paid in part from the $10Billion allocated by the Federal Government of Nigeria for judgement debt in the current budget, that the honourable minister for finance has asked that the beneficiaries of the N10billion be listed and send to her office, to enable her release the funds, that the meeting identified the Eurobonds of $5.5billion as another source that could be utilized by the Federal Government in the payment of its indebtedness to the defendants.

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All the above facts are known to the bank and are in writing to the knowledge and acknowledgement of the bank.

“The defendants hereby undertakes not to tamper with the proceeds of these funds from the Federal Government to the detriment of the bank if released”, he averred .

Both the defendants domiciliation of the proceeds of N1.6billion as well as collateral and additional collateral in respect of their property in Effurun warri, Delta state is still with the bank.


Mr Agberien averred further that the Federal Government of Nigeria who is owing the defendants the sum of $20million as agreed, has not and upon enquiry of the plaintiff’s bank denied the existence of its preparedness to pay the said amount to the defendants.

The economic, business and financial lives of the defendants have been unjustly brought to a halt as a result of the order of the court obtained by the Bank upon suppression of material facts.

The case has been adjourned for further hearing.

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