Court orders 22 banks to release N4.7B belonging to NNPC, PPMC

Court orders 22 banks to release N4.7B belonging to NNPC, PPMC

Monday, July 3, 2023 9:54 am


Akin Kuponiyi

A Federal High Court, in Lagos has discharged 22 banks from N4.7 billion a garnishee proceeding filed by Glonik Industries limited and Glonik Hotels limited, against Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), and its sister company, Pipeline and Products Marketing Ltd.

The presiding Judge, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa had in a judgement delivered on May 16, 2023, in a suit filed by Glonik Industries Limited and Glonik Hotels limited, ordered NNPC and PPMC to pay the sum of N4.7 billion for the demolition of hotel building situated at number 33, Wamom Taofeek Street, New Okoba, Lagos belonging to the Plaintiffs.

Following the judgement, Justice Lewis-Allagoa also in a garnishee proceeding ordered the attachment of the judgement sum in 23 banks and directed them to show cause why the sums standing to the credit of the defendants who are Judgement Debtors credit in thier various accounts should not be attached to satisfy the judgement debt.

The Court directed that all debts due or sums accruing from the banks to the Judgement Debtors be attached to answer a judgment secured against the Debtors for the payment of N4,705,139,686.78 (Four Billon, Seven Hundred and Five Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira, Seventy-Five Kobo).

Justice Allagoa also directed the named banks to appear in court to show cause as to why they should not pay to the Plaintiffs the Judgment Sum from the monetary sums due from the banks to the defendants, in satisfaction of the Judgment Debt.

However, when the matter came up, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Wale Akoni SAN in an application filed and argued before the court, urged the court to vary the Garnishee Order, and limit it to the 6th Garnishee (Fist Bank of Nigeria Limited), submitting that the defendants funds in First bank was enough to satisfy the judgement sum.

Consequently, he urged the court to discharge the other 22 banks to enable the defendants carry out their businesses.

Justice Allagoa in his ruling granted the request and discharged other bank’s with the exception of the 6th garnishee bank, First bank.

The Plaintiffs in their statement of claim filed before the court stated that sometime in 2017, the Defendants invaded the GLONIK Industries’s property Glonik Hotels used for its hotel/hospitality business on the pretext that NNPC (1st Defendant) pipeline was being vandalized from the property, arrested some members of the staff of the Hotel alongside the chairman, sealed the property and stationed their task force at the property denying the plaintiffs access to the property.

The Plaintiffs added that the entire building was then demolished by the Defendant, adding that the demolition was done without any order of court.

Specifically, the GLONIK Industries stated that it obtained building approval from the Lagos State government before the building was erected on the land.
Consequently, the Plaintiffs sought for ‘’a declaration that the sealing, demolishing of their building situate at 33, Wamom Taofeek Street, by Social Club Road, New Okoba, Lagos and carting away of all items was illegal.
‘’The sum of N840,879,686.75 (Eight Hundred and Forty Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira and Seventy-Five Kobo only) being the fair and estimated value to replace the hotel.

‘’The sum of N3,863, 160,000 (Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Three Million, One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only) being the loss suffered as a result of the breach of contract between the Hotel and Ignite Energy Limited induced by the Defendants as a result of the sealing and destruction of the Plaintiffs’ hotel.

‘’The sum of N1, 000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira), as general damages, and additional N1, 000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) as exemplary damages for Defendants wrongly conduct.

However, the Defendants in their statement of defence and counter claim dated 13th of October, 2022 prayed the court for a declaration that the activities of the Plaintiffs to the Defendants’ Pipeline Right of Way at Atlas Cover-Mosimi are illegal and unlawful.

Therefore, the Defendant prayed the court for ‘’An Order for the sum of N500, 000,000,000.00 (five hundred billion naira) only to be paid to the Defendants jointly and severally by the Plaintiffs as general damages due to the Plaintiffs act of economic sabotage to the Defendants’ facilities.
Justice Allagoa in his judgement declared that ‘’ in all the Plaintiffs have proved their case on the preponderance of evidence but the Defendants have failed to prove their counter claim. Reliefs A, B, C and E in the sum of N4,704,030,686.75 is hereby granted as prayed.

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