Nigeria: Court Restrains Stella Oduah From 21 Accounts Over N8.5 Billion Debt

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Justice Abdulaziz Anka of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday issued an order, restraining Senator Stella Oduah and Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited from making any withdrawals from its account and those of three other companies domiciled in 21 banks.

The other companies are Sea Shipping Agency Limited, Rotary Engineering Services Limited and Tour Afrique Company Limited.

The order of the court was sequel to an affidavit deposed to by the business manager of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Segun Akinsanya, filed and argued before the court by its counsel, Mr Kemi Balogun (SAN).

The court issued the orders, over an alleged indebtedness of the defendants in the sum of about $16.4 million and N100.5 million. In the affidavit, Akinsanya averred that on October 8,2012, the bank granted a lease /Cabotage Vessel Finance Facility (CVFF) to Sea Petroleum and Gas Company in the said sums, to finance one unit 5,000 MT tanker vessel.

He averred that the loan was secured by an unconditional personal guarantee of the companies’ director, Princess Stella Oduah. It was further averred that between June 27, 2013, Sea petroleum company requested and was granted additional facilities in the sum of about $450,000 for post delivery expenses.

Akinsanya said that also granted was about $993, 000 to meet the requisite conditions in securing the release of the tanker. He averred that upon the persistent failure of the defendants to liquidate their indebtedness, Sterling Bank instructed its counsels to recover the debt which has culminated in the sum of 16.4 million dollars.and about N100.5 million as at November 2016.

He therefore, urged the court to grant the order restraining Stella Oduah and other directors of the companies, from withdrawing money from the account of the companies domiciled with 21 banks listed before the court, pending the determination of the debt recovery suit. Stella Oduah and her companies while urging the court to discharge the order, also filed a preliminary objection urging the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The presiding judge, justice Abdulaziz Anka fixed March 20 to decide whether or not to vacate the order.

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