N1.8bn Debt: Court Vacates Order against PDP Chieftain

Wale Igbintade

A Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged an exparte orders made against a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Segun Adewale, owner of Aeroland Travels.

Justice Daniel Osiagor had on February 7 granted the exparte order filed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) against the firm of the PDP chieftain.

The order empowered AMCON to seal the firm and other properties belonging to Adewale.

Some of the properties sealed by AMCON, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/AMC/154/2021, include; Plot 4 & 4B Block 66 Magodo Scheme, Lagos State; Plot 9, Block 44c, Adetoro Adelaja Street, Magodo Lagos; Number 4C Maye Ogundana Street, Magodo Lagos, and number 10 Oluyomi Oshinkoya Street, Magodo Residential Scheme, Lagos.

Others are Plot 8, Block 66, Residential Scheme, Sangisha, Lagos; No. 2A John Olugbo Street, Ikeja, Lagos; No. 2 Fadeyi Street, off Awolowo way, Ikeja, Lagos; No. 8 Surulere Alelor Street, Millenium, Gbagada; and No. 14 Jerry Iriabe Street, off Bashorun Okunsanya, off Admiralty Road, Lekki Penisula.

However, Adewale through his lawyer, Tope Alabi, in a motion pursuant to sections 6 and 36 of the Constitution, sections 49(3) and 50(2)  of AMCON Act, 2020 (as amended), and Order 26 Rules 9(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019, prayed that court for an order discharging and/or vacating the orders.

He also asked for an order directing AMCON to indemnify him for damages suffered as a result of the exparte orders made on February 7.

Alabi told the court that AMCON materially misrepresented, and concealed material facts from the Court and engaged in deliberate suppression of facts.

He argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter or made the ex-parte orders in issue, as the underlying matter amounts to gross abuse of court process.

Osiagor after hearing Adewale’s counsel, Tope Alabi, and AMCON’s counsel, Chief Aloy Ezenduka, and citing a plethora of authorities, granted Adewale’s request and discharged his February 7 exparte order made against Aeroland Travels.

Specifically, Justice Osiagor ordered the unsealing of all properties affected by the February 7 exparte order.

The judge thereafter transferred AMCON’s case file to Justice Tijjani Ringim’s court, which is currently presiding over the suit filed against it and Polaris Bank by Aeroland Travels Limited.

Adewale had in an affidavit stated that AMCON obtained the orders by fraud, non-disclosure, utter misrepresentation, and concealment of material facts applicable to the matter.

He stated that as of November 26, 2021 when AMCON filed the exparte motion used in obtaining the exparte orders now sought to be discharged, there was already a pending suit before the Court – Suit No. FHC/L/CS/2093/2018 between Aeroland Travels Nigeria Limited v Polaris Bank limited and another.

The said suit, amongst other things, is challenging the authority of the plaintiff/respondent to appoint a Receiver/Manager over the assets and business of the 1st defendant over a purported indebtedness that was mischievously created through dubious transactions.

He is also seeking a declaration that the first defendant is not indebted to the plaintiff or liable to payment of any sum whatsoever to the plaintiff.

He stated that in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/2093/2018, which is currently pending before Justice G. Ringim, AMCON, who was sued as the second Defendant, has not filed any defence to date but instead filed a notice of preliminary objection.

He stated that the first defendant, Polaris Bank, has already filed its counter-affidavit to the said notice of preliminary objection, for which the plaintiff has equally filed its reply on point of law and the same has been fixed for hearing.

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