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Alleged debt: Ex-minister loses bid to stop bank from seizing property

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By Henry Ojelu

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, turned down an application seeking to stop Access Bank Plc from taking over a property known as Etiebet’s place in Ikeja, Lagos.

The property, located on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, is owned by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Don Etiebet, in the name of his firm, Obodex Nigeria Limited.

In a ruling, yesterday, Justice A. Liman rejected Obodex Nigeria Limited’s plea to stay the execution of a December 17, 2018 judgment of Justice Ibrahim Buba, which empowered Access Bank to take over the property.

The bank had dragged Obodex Nigeria Limited to court over alleged indebtedness. The firm challenged the court jurisdiction to hear the suit.

But in his December 17, 2018 decision, Justice Buba dismissed the objection by Obodex Nigeria Limited and ruled in favour of Access Bank.

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Pursuant to this, Access Bank took over Etiebet’s Place and appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Kunle Ogunba, as receiver/ manager to manage the property towards the recovery of the alleged debt.

Not pleased, Obodex Nigeria Limited filed an appeal as well as an application for stay of execution of the judgment.

In the application for stay of execution, through its lawyer, Mr Dele Adesina, SAN, Obodex Nigeria Limited sought an order restraining Kunle Ogunba, SAN and his privies or assignees from “advertising or offering for sale, selling, mortgaging, transferring, alienating or otherwise interfering with the applicant’s equitable right of redemption on the property situated and lying at 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos, also known as Etiebet’s House, pending the hearing and final determination of the applicant’s appeals.”

However, Access Bank, through Ogunba, opposed Obodex’s application for stay of execution.

Ruling yesterday, Justice Liman refused to stop Access Bank from taking over the property.

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