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Fidelity Bank Gets Court Nod To Seize Debtor’s Account In 22 Banks Over N7.3 bn Unpaid Loan

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has made absolute an Order Decree Nisi it granted in favour of Fidelity Bank Plc against Kehinde Eliot Ogbor and Danium Energy Services Limited, who are allegedly owing the bank a judgment debt of N7.3 billion.

Justice Daniel Osiagor who presided over the court made the order, following a motion filed and argued by the bank’s counsel, Mr. Tokunbo Davies of Kemi Pinheiro Legal Practitioners.

The court order was as a result of February 28, 2019, judgment of Justice Rilwan Aikawa in an undefended suit marked FHC/L/CS/1020/2017, which held that Ogbor and his company, Danium Energy Services, were indebted to Fidelity Bank Plc to the tune of over N7 billion.

The bank had asked for a judgment sum of the money and interest at the rate of 22 percent par annum from March 24, 2017, till total liquidation of same being the outstanding amount on the credit facility granted to the second defendant and duly guaranteed by the first Defendant (Ogbor)”.

On January 17, 2020, Fidelity Bank Plc in a motion Exparte dated June 19, 2019, approached Justice Aikawa for an order Nisi against the alleged judgment debtors’ accounts in 22 banks.

Justice Aikawa while granting the application held that: “It is hereby ordered as follows: That an Order Nisi is granted against the named Garnishees as shown in the Motion Ex-parte.
“That the Garnishees shall appear to Ikoyi, Lagos to show cause why the order should not be made absolute”.

When the Fidelity Bank Plc approached today through its Mr. Tokunbo Davis, informed Justice Osiagor that the matter was slated for address on the issue of disputed service of the order Nisi and originating processes on the judgment debtor as raised in the judgment debtors’ motion to set aside the order nisi.

Davis while citing Order 6 Rule 1 of the FHC Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, argued that a party via his solicitor may serve the originating process on parties and provide proof of such service before the Court, adding that this was done and proof of service was before the court.

He further told the Court that the defendant filed a memorandum of conditional appearance which confirmed that they were served with the originating processes.

He told the court that the defendants were served the Order Nisi, adding, among others, that the application disputing service was “simply a ruse” by the judgment debtor to deprive the judgment creditor the possibility of reaping the fruit of its judgment.

In his respond, counsel to the judgment debtors, L.O. Eriaremien, argued that they were not served with the originating processes and prayed the court to set aside the Order Nisi.

However, Justice Osiagor in a bench ruling, held that the service of the Originating Process and Order Nisi were proper and in accordance with the court’s rules, as there was proof of service in the court’s file.

Justice Osiagor therefore dismissed the motion to set aside the order Nisi for non-service and made the order Absolute.

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