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Firm challenges order to transfer $10.5m to unknown third party

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High Court

A firm in the telecommunications sector, INT Towers Limited, has frowned at what it called a strange order by a magistrate court, ordering it to transfer $10.5million to the account of a company it does not know or have any dealings with.

Magistrate, Mr. W. B. Balogun, sitting in Igbosere had in his ruling ordered the firm to pay the sum to a company known as Emirates Fuel Exploration and Production Limited, while ruling on application filed by Lagos Commissioner of Police and Managing Director of Emirates Fuel, Akin Jegede.

The police claimed that the money was obtained from Jegede by fraudulent means.

But the firm said it was not a party to the suit, nor does it have any business dealings with Emirates Fuel Exploration and Production and therefore will appeal the decision.

The applicant said failure of the Commissioner of Police and Jegede to join it to the suit breached its right to fair hearing.

It said the police did not also provide any evidence about how it received the money from Jegede and his company.

Besides, INT Towers said the police commissioner and Jegede lacked the locus standi (legal right) to apply to the court to transfer its funds to a third party without affording the applicant the opportunity to be heard, notwithstanding that it would be adversely affected by the order.

The applicant said the amount is in excess of the court’s monetary jurisdiction prescribed under the Magistrate’s Court Law, therefore, the court lacked the jurisdiction to make the order.

INT Towers has, at the meantime, applied for a stay of execution of the order.

It is also praying for an order granting it leave to appeal against the ruling.

The court had on September 19 granted INT Towers’ prayer to be joined as a party, but refused its application to set the order aside.

It is, therefore, seeking the leave of the court to appeal against the decision refusing to set aside the order.

The case will come up on Thursday October 19.



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