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Court orders freezing Rainfall oil account over alleged unpaid debt

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Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor of a Federal High Court, Lagos, has ordered all banks in Nigeria, not to allow an oil firm, Rainfall Oil Supplies and Trading Nigeria Limited and its directors to access its accounts with them, over alleged unpaid debt of the sum of N967, 244, 957, 45.

The Oil firm’s directors affected by the order are: Jamilu Abubakar; Jara Abubakar; Shehu Lawal Kaita and Abdulkadir Gwandu.

The judge ordered the firm account to be freeze following an exparte application marked FHC/L/CS/1953/2019, filed and argued by counsel to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Olaitan Adeboye

The judge direct all the banks to produce and furnish the court the statement of accounts of the oil firm and its directors, stating the total outstanding credit in their accounts.

The court further ordered banks to produce and furnish the court the opening documentations which includes; mandate card, Know Your Customer Card and others relevant documents of the defendants at the commencement of financial transaction.

Furthermore, the judge also made an order mandating the banks to take measure restraining the fifth defendant, Abdulkadir Gwandu, his agents, servants or proxies from relating to bank verification number 22155238420.

He said the orders would subsist pending the hearing and determination of debt recovery suit brought against the oil firm and its directors by AMCON.

Some of the banks listed in the application are: First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB), First Bank of Nigeria PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB), Union Bank of Nigeria Plc United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Zenith Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Heritage Banking Company Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited,
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and 15 other banks.

AMCON in an affidavit deposed to by its Credit Officer, David Funsho George, averred that in pursuit of the indebtedness of the oil firm, which was bought over, the AMCON wrote two different letters of Demand dated February 18, 2016 and November 23, 2016 respectively, to the oil firm none of which was favourably responded to. And that the inability of the AMCON to make recovery despite the above lead to the engagement of the consortium of Olaitan Adeboye and Co as Asset Management Partners.

He stated that the consortium of Olaitan Adeboye & Co and in its efforts at recovery the debt, wrote a Letter of Demand dated the 24th January, 2018 to the Oil Company for payment of a sum of N429 938, 999.70 million, but could not deliver same because the alleged debtor and its Directors were said to have relocated to an unknown place and changed their phone contacts.

He stated further that the inability of the AMCON to recover the unliquidated indebtedness of the 1st Defendant/ respondent through the various efforts made had prompted it to approach the court for the recovery of the said indebtedness that stood at a sum of N967. 244, 957. 45 million, as at April 30, 2019, as stated in the Statement of Account generated on the 22nd May, 2019.

He also averred that despite the above development, the oil firm and its directors till date had utterly failed, refused and neglected to make payment of the outstanding sum demanded and had not indicated willingness to do same. And that the totality of the effect was that the Defendants never denied their indebtedness of the amount claimed by the AMCON despite their purposes contained in the said letter.
The judge subsequently adjourned heating till January 28, 2020.


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