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Firm petitions judge, seeks reassignment of case 

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A multinational oil company, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Limited and its Managing Director (MD), Mr. Patrick Ilo, have written a letter of complaint against a judge of the federal high court to both the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the Chief Judge.

The complainants are asking the recipients to reassign the case filed against them by Union Bank of Nigeria, which is presently before justice Rilwan Aikawa to another judge. They have also filed an application before the judge, asking him to recluse himself, expressing their loss of confidence in the court in determining the matter without any form of bias. 

Petrocam Trading Nigeria limited, its MD, Ilo alongside South African counterpart, Petrocam Trading South Africa had earlier sued the bank at the Lagos State high court, urging the court to direct the bank to credit or reverse the wrongful debt on Petrocam’s account maintained with the bank for the funding of the letter of credit totalling the sum of N6, 704,918,533.71, arising from the bank’s alleged breach of its duty to the company. 

However, while the case was still pending, the bank through their counsel, Chief Ajibola Aribisala (SAN), filed another case before a Federal high court in Lagos against the company and its MD, claiming the sum of N10, 062,643,928.72 and securing an order of the court to freeze all the accounts of the company in all commercial banks.

In the accompanying affidavit verifying the complaints, sworn to by Ilo and filed by their counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), the deponent averred that six orders were made against them.

Those orders, he swore, froze the account of Petrocam and adjourned for seven weeks, while effectively shutting down all their businesses and operations.Mr Ilo averred that in spite of the potential harm the order may cause, no undertaken was given as to damages in the event that the orders ought not to have been made. 

The deponent therefore urged the CJN and the Chief Judge to use their good offices to investigate the matter for appropriate action, to prevent recurrence. While Justice Aikawa had adjourned hearing of the application to June 22, the CJN in response said its office was looking into the matter.


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