Petition against judge stalls further hearing on African coast regional fund suit

The continue hearing of Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (ACRF) matters filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has been stalled on Friday following a petition written by one of the respondents, FBN Trustees Limited against the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Watila.

Penpushing reports that, the petitioner in an affidavit of records addressed to the Chief Judge of the federation on grounds suggested that the contempt application matter be renumbered for proper identification and to differentiate it from the other matter that carries file no: 37.

The petition stated that the presiding judge gave the directive that the case file be numbered as 37A, but therefore agreed by attorneys of all parties to the matters that the contempt case file be numbered as 37A.

Penpushing further reports that, the attorney to Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (ACRF), Okhueleigbe Aikpehae of Abraham, Thompsons and co chambers,  expressed shock over the decision of First Bank of Nigeria(FBN) Trustees Limited to file affidavit of records having been party to the agreement to number the case file 37A.

The First Bank of Nigeria(FBN) Trustees Limited wanted the Chief Judge to reassign the matters to another judge to preside over, while the counsel to the trustees, Kemi Pinheiro SAN, was said to have been stuck in the traffic and was not present at the sitting.

Penpushing also repports that,  both Bode Olanipekun, SAN, and E.A. Oyebanji, SAN, informed the court that Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, spoke with them on phone from the traffic jam.

The First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Trustees Limited had filed separate affidavit of records for the three matters before the court. The presiding judge, therefore, adjourned the matters sine die, pending directive from the Chief Judge of the federation.

Penpushing recalled that, Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (ACRF) had challenged the appointment of receiver/manager, alleged illegal sale  and transfer of assets of Nigerian German Chemicals Plc (NGC PLC) in which, according to affidavit in support of originating summons filed by ACRF, “by an Investment Agreement, agreed to invest up to $14 million in the NGC PLC by providing a bridge facility and subscribing for up to N670,833,333 ordinary shares representing 43 percent of the authorized share capital of the company after its Private Placement which it had invested $14 million.”

The Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (ACRF) dragged before the court FBN Trustees Limited, NGC PLC, (In Receivership), BOLU AGBAJE  AKADRI (Receiver/Manager of NGC Plc), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, and others over the sale and transfer of assets of NGC PLC while the substantive suit still subsists.

Penpushing also reports that, the assets in contention were alleged to have been transferred to Syngen Pharmaceuticals Limited, Uhuru Capital  Limited  Capital Alliance Nigeria Ltd, and Brand Ocean Ltd.

The presiding judge had at the sitting on June 19, 2020 advised all attorneys in the cases to get ready their processes and responses to various preliminary objections filed before the next sitting with a view to fast tracking the

Meanwhile, the hearing could not continue on Friday, July 17, 2020 due to the Affidavit of Records filed by First Bank of Nigeria(FBN) Trustees Limited.


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