First Bank Nigeria Ltd has prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria, to restrain six former Directors of Commonwealth Consortium Ltd and Agbara Estates Ltd from dissipating the firms’ assets known as No. 21 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and 21.222 Hectares of land in Agbara Estates phase 3, Agbara, Ogun State, over a N13,420,159,607.78 debt pending determination of the substantive suit.
The bank also urged the court to order the six former directors to yield possession of the assets covered by Mortgage Deeds and deliver to the Receiver/Manager Mr. Oluwakemi Balogun, SAN, Statement of accounts, inventory of all Assets, list of debtors and all other documents in their custody.
The bank made the prayers and more in its application it filed before the court against Commonwealth Consortium and Agbara Estates (both in Receivership) who are the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs in the suit filed by the applicants’ counsel Mr. Balogun SAN.
The first to sixth defendants are former directors namely, Mr. Kayode Ayeni, Mrs. Kikelomo Ayeni, former Ecobank Director Mr. Kolapo Lawson, Mr. Paulo Cruz, Mr. Tunji Lawson and Babatunde Akindele.
It was alleged that in a bid to avoid repayment of depositors’ funds trapped in their custody, the Commonwealth consortium and Agbara Estates are dissipating their assets, which are personal in nature and taking steps to move all other moveable assets outside the jurisdiction of the court.
“The defendants are also taking steps to alienate or transfer the charged assets to unsuspecting third parties. Thus, there is imminent risk of the defendants frustrating the realiazation of the charged assets and other assets of the 1st and 2nd Defendants,” the bank stated in it’s application.
The plaintiffs are also seeking four main reliefs including an order of restraining the defendants and others including employees of the 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs “from interfering with or otherwise obstructing or frustrating Mr. Balogun, the Receiver/Manager appointed by the First Bank in the course of performance of his statutory duties over the whole assets of the 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs.
The assets are as covered by the Deed of Legal Mortgage of January 30.
“An order restraining all licensed Banks and Financial institutions in Nigeria from granting access, releasing or parting with any funds, money, shares, bonds, letters of credit, promissory note, bills of lading and other forms of negotiable instruments in their custody in the name of the 2nd Plaintiff and the 1st and 2nd Defendants and or any other account(s) with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) 22224472100 and 22152857686 being operated individually or collectively by the 1st and 2nd Defendants up to the sum of N13,420,159,607.78. being
the outstanding liability of the 1st and 2nd Defendants to the 1st Plaintiff as of 9th September, 2021.
When the matter was mentioned the court could not proceed and the presiding Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke had to adjourn till June 30 for hearing.
The plaintiffs in their motion on notice listed nine grounds upon which the application was based.
They said the 2nd Plaintiff acting through the 1st and 2nd Defendant obtained several credit facilities from the first bank to finance the purchase of a property at 21, Milverton Road Ikoyi Lagos.
The defendants charged the property situate at No. 21 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, and those within Agbara Estates Phase 3, Agbara.
Owing to the failure and inability of the Directors to liquidate their indebtedness to the 1st Plaintiff as and when due, the 1st Defendant’s indebtedness to the bank now stands at N13,420,159,607.78 as at 9 September, 2021 in spite of repeated demands. The bank appointed Mr Balogun, SAN as Receiver/Manager over the charged assets of the 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs.
By virtue of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 the proprietary interest in the charged assets of the 2nd Plaintiff has become vested in Balogun, SAN upon his appointment as the Receiver/Manager.
“The 1st to 6th Defendants who are the erstwhile directors of the 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs mo have refused to yield up possession of the charged assets to the Receiver/Manager.
“The 1st and 2nd Defendants who freely executed a Deed of Personal Guarantee as additional collateral to secure the facilities granted to the 2nd Plaintiff by the bank have also failed and refused to liquidate the indebtedness of the 2nd Plaintiff which they personally guaranteed in total disregard for Clauses 10, 13, 15 and 21 of the Deed of Personal Guarantees