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First Bank explains stake in Shell-Ejama community dispute

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has explained a garnishee order made absolute by Court seeking to attach funds of the bank at Central Bank to the Shell-Ejama community dispute.

The bank, in a statement, signed by its Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, stated that FirstBank’s involvement in the matter only arose from the Litigation Guarantee in the sum of N17.2 billion plus interest it issued at Shell’s request as a condition for the stay of execution of a ruling in a lawsuit between Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (Shell) and the Ejama Ebubu Community which is still subject to two separate and subsisting appeals before the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

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“While FirstBank will not go into the details of the matter as same remains subjudice, it is important to state that the said ruling was made without regard to the said appeals before the Supreme Court. It is also necessary to put it on record that the sum of N182.7billion remains strange to us as we are not aware of any such judgment sum by any court of law capable of being enforced by a garnishee proceeding.

“With specific reference to the reported recent ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, FirstBank and all the other necessary parties to the garnishee order proceedings have filed their respective appeals against the ruling. The appropriate applications to restrain parties from overreaching and undermining the outcome of the appeals are also in place already.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, FirstBank has always conducted its business operations in strict compliance with all extant rules and regulations whilst meeting its obligations as and when due,” the statement read in part.

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