Firm drags Banire, others to appeal court over alleged contempt
Nicon Trustees Limited has filed a motion before the Court of Appeal, Lagos, praying for an order granting it leave to institute contempt proceedings against former Lagos commissioner, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) for allegedly denigrating and obstructing the enforcement of court’s judgment in Appeal no; CA/L/365/2004.
Other judgment debtors/respondents in the suit are Alma Beach Estates Limited and Duncan Woods and Associates. Counsel to the judgment creditor/applicant, Ejeta Otuoniyo, claimed that Alma Beach Estates Limited borrowed money from NICON Trustees Limited and executed debenture Trust Deed on February 20, 1991.
It registered it as 75/75/1949 and got it executed between NICON Trustees Limited and Grand Alma Nigeria Limited now Alma Beach Estate Limited.
The applicant said clause 7.01 of the debenture conveyed 150 plots of land out of the large parcels of land to secure a loan and Alma Beach Estates Limited by clause 26 of the debenture gave power to the creditor (NICON Trustees Limited) to appoint a receiver over the 150 plots and realize the debt upon default to repay the loan.
The lawyers said by the application of the judgment creditor (NICON Trustees limited) to the Federal High court under section 209 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2004, consequential orders to take possession were granted and executed to put the receiver in possession.
“By purported pre-action notices dated November 10, 17 and 25 on behalf of proxies whose statutes were already determined and notwithstanding that Banire participated in the proceedings post this court judgment, caused to be issued pre-action notices, giving notice to re-litigate the subject matter of this judgment,” the Otuoniyo claimed.
The applicant stated that the judgment debtor, after the decision of the appeal court has re-litigated on the matter for which Magistrate court, high court of Lagos and federal high court had declared the actions as abuses of judicial processes.
“The counsel for the applicant, seeing the grave contempt and assault the actions of Banire constituted to the due administration of justice wrote a letter dated December 21, 2020 to refrain from denigrating judicial decisions.
“The said letter was followed by the address of press conferences by Banire, who dubbed the judgment creditor (NICON trustees limited) and its receiver (Abah Onah) as land grabbers and thugs and threatened to confront the police with violence for protecting the receiver,” the applicant stated.
Continuing, the applicant said: “Banire as counsel to the judgment debtor/respondent denigrates and holds in contempt the judgment of this court and considers it inferior to the memo of a Surveyor General and other administrative orders and has incited agencies of the Lagos State Government, where he was a government official and instigated 3rd parties to frustrate the judgment/applicant in enforcing the judgment of this court delivered on October 25, 2016.
“In disregard for the judgment of the court, Banire has his action in contempt of this court judgment by instigating the privies and the debtor company (Duncan Woods and Associate limited) to confront valid court orders relying on Lagos state administrative agencies, which he is deploying to their benefits.”
In a 20 paragraph affidavit in support of the notice on motion swore by Esther Graham of Ibi Remedium Associates, the applicant said Banire acting as counsel to the judgment debtors led an army of privies and third parties to the police headquarters, Abuja on September 10, and the office of the commissioner of police (Lagos) to challenge the authority of the court’s judgment.
“That Banire exploiting his connections in Lagos has been writing petitions to all approving agencies in Lagos state to frustrate the Receiver’s (Abah Onah) duties of realizing the security which had been held in abeyance for 28 years.
“That these actions by Banire is a violent and flagrant disobedience to this court and ought to be punished,” Graham averred.
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