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Trustees appeal ruling vacating freezing order against Union Homes

By Joseph Onyekwere
25 March 2022   |   3:44 am
Union Trustees Limited has filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which vacated an ex-parte order freezing the assets of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc.

Union Trustees Limited has filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which vacated an ex-parte order freezing the assets of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc.

The appellant is asking the Appeal Court to set aside the ruling delivered on March 23, 2022, which discharged the interim Mareva order and order for the appointment of receiver/manager made on February 24, 2022.

In addition, the appellant, on March 23, 2022, filed an application, which seeks to suspend the ruling and order made by the judge at the lower court.

It also seeks an order of injunction to maintain status quo and restrain the respondents, whether by themselves or their counsel, agents or privies from taking any steps whatsoever to interfere with the orders of February 24, 2022, or the ongoing receivership of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc, pending the determination of the applicant’s appeal.

The applicant is further praying the court for an order restraining the respondents from publishing, either by social media, by print or electronic publications, however described, or by making any form of representation to the public, in respect of the first and second respondents, as relates to the vacation of the orders of the court and/or the ongoing receivership of the 1st respondent, pending the determination of the applicant’s appeal.

In the suit, Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc (1st defendant); Aso Saving and Loans Plc (2nd defendant) and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (3rd defendant) are the respondents.

The applicant said the transaction relates to the divestiture of Union Bank Plc from Union Homes and concerned a long-admitted debt of over N1billion.

The applicant argued that the lower court erred in law when it heard and determined the motion on notice dated March 7, 2022, filed by Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) when his competence to represent Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc had been challenged.

It also argued that the hearing and determination of the application filed by Banire was wrong as the court ought to have first resolved the issue of legal representation before proceeding to other substantial issues such as the motion to vary/discharge the interim orders.

In an affidavit attached to the application, Union Trustees Limited claimed that it commenced the suit for the recovery of admitted debt owed by the first and second respondents to the tune of N1.2 billion.

It also stated that to preserve the respondents’ assets pending the determination of the suit and forestall a dissipation of assets, it applied and obtained an order of Mareva injunction, freezing the funds and assets of the respondents, as well as an order, appointing a receiver/manager for the first respondent, its undertakings, businesses and assets for the preservation of same, among other orders.

It further stated that unless the application is granted, the assets and funds of the first and second respondents preserved by the orders of February 24, 2022, will be grossly dissipated and the applicant’s ability to enforce and enjoy the fruit of any judgment to be delivered in its favour by the court will be negatively affected and possibly truncated.

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