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Court Sets December 22 For Ruling On UBA, Stallion Group’s Suit Over N156bn Disputed Debt

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Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court Lagos on Friday fixed December 22, 2023 for ruling in the applications filed by Stallion Groups of companies asking the Court to vacate an Exparte order granted by the court on October 20 which empowers United Bank for Africa, UBA to take over the assets of Stallion Nigeria Limited and it’s subsidiaries in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, over a disputed indebtedness.

It would be recalled that Justice Aluko had on October 20, while ruling on an ex-parte application filed by Temilolu Adamalekun, counsel for UBA PLC granted an ordered directing the bank to take over the assets of Stallion Nigeria Limited and it’s subsidiaries in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, consequent upon a disputed indebtedness of N156, 026, 032, 804. 84 billion.

Some of the company’s assets affected by the order were: mortgaged property known as “all that piece or parcel of land together with any building thereon” at Plot 371, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“Plot 353, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Plot 370, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, KM17, Lagos Badagry Expressway, Lagos State and No. 54, Challawa Industrial Estate, Kano State, Nigeria.”

Nigeria Limited (In Receivership), Von Automobile Nigeria Limited, Popular Farms And Mills Limited, Havana Nigeria Limited, KRBL Food Industries Limited, Qingqi Motorcycle Manufacturing Limited, Stallion Auto Keke Limited, Stallion Motors Limited, The Honda Place Limited, Yokohama Construction Limited and Mr. Sunil Vaswani.

However, following the order of the court, Stallion Groups through its lawyer filed a counter affidavit asking the court to vacate the order and and dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

At the resumption of hearing of the suit on Friday, counsel to Stallion Group’s, Mr Wahab shittu and Mr. Joseph Mbadugha, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) in their separate applications, urged the court to vacate the Exparte order and strike out the entire suit, for lack of jurisdiction.

The two senior lawyers while making thier submission cited several legal authorities and stated that the Receiver/Manager can not institute the suit in his name.

They added that if the Receiver/Manager must institute the suit in his name, he must first seek the leave of court before instituting it.

They also submitted that the applicant ( UBA) failed to register the mortgage with Corporate Affair Commission (CAC), within 90 days, and that there is no evidence attached with the summon when the Deed of Mortgage was delivered to CAC.

They therefore urged the court to hold that the plaintiffs suit is incompetent and set aside the exparte order granted on October 20, 2023.

In his response, counsel to UBA, b Adamolekun, while moving his counter-affidavit to the defendants’ preliminary objection to the suit, argued that the defendants’ objection is extraneous and urged the court to dismiss it.

Adamolekun said the authority cited by the respondents was different to the suit against them. He stated that the Receiver/Manager on the authority cited was appointed over the company.

He said: “it’s section 197 of CAMA, registration within 90 day. But the CAMA also allow time to be extended. He cited a suit, FHC/L/CS/1357/2023, in which the court extended time for the registration of a mortgage.

He also stated that the respondents motion to set aside the exparte order, were different because they did not look at the exhibit that made the court to grant the order.

Meanwhile, Justice Aluko after taking arguments from parties adjourned the matter till December 22, for ruling on Stallion Group’s applications to vacate the ex-parte order.

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