Symbol of justice
Justice Okechukwu Okeke of a Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed November 21, 2012 to determine whether or not it will set aside, annul or vacate an ex-parte order he gave on March 13, 2012, which appointed Oluwakemi Balogun as a receiver/manager of the new Tejuosho Market complex on behalf of First Bank Plc.
The decision is expected to bring to an end controversies surrounding the receivership of the assets of Stormberg Engineering Company Limited located at the new market complex over alleged indebtedness.
Okeke had entertained arguments and submissions from counsel to First Bank Plc, Oluwakemi Balogun and Access Bank Plc, Kunle Ogunba (SAN), on a motion filed by Access Bank Plc challenging the court’s ex-parte order on March 13, 2012 over the receivership.
The court had in its interim order appointed First Bank (the plaintiff) as the receiver/ manager over the assets of Stormberg Engineering Company Limited located at the new Tejuosho Market complex following a suit filed by First Bank Plc against the company and one Mr. Dolapo Atinmo for alleged indebtedness to the bank.
Dissatisfied with the order, Access Bank Plc, as an interested party had in a motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 26 Rule 2910 11, Order 29 of the Federal High Court (civil procedure) Rules, 2009, urged the court to set aside, annul or vacate the order on the ground that First Bank Plc (plaintiff) suppressed some facts in obtaining the order.
Access Bank’s counsel, Ogunba in the motion accompanied by a 10- paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Olugbenga Kushimo, asked the court to dismiss it or alternatively strike out the order, saying the entire action as couched and presented was a grievous abuse of court process.
The bank argued that the entire action filed by First Bank (Plaintiff) was hurriedly conceived and surreptitiously put together in response to another suit it filed on the matter.
The suit, Ogunba argued, which was predicated on the ground that there was the existence of a prior Deed of All Assets Debenture ranking earlier and higher in respect of the assets of the first defendant, the appointment of a Receiver/ Manager pursuant to same, the subject matter, purport and implications of the existence of an action in suit N0: FHC/L/CS/1082/011 and indeed, the existence of an exparte order of the same phraseology, lexicon to lexicon, with the exparte order made in the suit on May 13, 2012, was deliberately suppressed from the court and therefore constituted an abuse of the sacred processes of the court.
But in opposition to the motion, First Bank argued that suit N0: FHC/L/CS/1082/2011, filed by Access Bank was a concluded matter, saying parties in the said suit executed terms of settlement, which were adopted and formed the judgment of the court.
The plaintiff also argued that the ex-parte order obtained on September 26, 2011 by the interested party (Access bank Plc) in the said suit elapsed upon the adoption and pronouncement of the terms of settlement executed by parties in that suit as judgment of the court on January 20, 2012.