By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed an application seeking leave of court to appeal a February 11, 2020, judgment which granted First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Limited possession of Ashake Estate at Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Trial judge, Justice A. Liman agreed with FCMB that the application by Law Union and Rock Insurance, was incompetent, having been filed out of time, over three months after the judgment.
Law Union and Rock Insurance had sought leave of court to appeal the judgment in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/130/2019 as an interested party/applicant, while FCMB is judgment creditor/respondent, and Mr Tunji Ogunwusi and Primewaterview Ltd as judgment debtors.
Justice Liman’s judgment of February 11, granted FCMB possession of Ashake Estate, via a foreclosure order, following Ogunwusi & Primewaterview Ltd alleged debts to the firm.
Primewaterview Ltd and Tunji Ogunwusi had entered a Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage as security for a loan allegedly granted them by FCMB, under which the entire Ashake Estate became encumbered as security for the loan.
When the matter came up on February 18, 2021, Mr Nick Omeye appeared for the judgment creditor, FCMB.
Oyinkatola Badejo-Okusanya brought an application seeking leave to appeal against the judgment. Mariam Abdul appeared for the 1st judgment debtor/applicant and E. C. Azaiono for the 2nd Judgment debtor/applicant, while Victoria Janah-Ujah appeared for the applicant seeking to set aside the judgment.
But Nick Omeye, opposing the applications, contended that the judgment was a final judgment and can only be set aside on grounds of fraud, non-service or lack of jurisdiction, and in the absence of any of the above grounds as envisaged by Order 14 Rule 10 of the Federal High Court Rules, 2019, the applications were bound to be dismissed.
Justice Liman upheld Nick Omeye’s argument. On Badejo-Okusanya’s argument, the judge said: “How can you apply to be joined when this matter has been concluded? This application is struck out. The judgment was delivered on February 11, 2020, and you filed your application on October 16, 2020.”
Nick Omeye further opposed Janah-Ujah’s application to set aside the judgment. The court upheld the argument. The case was adjourned till March 25, 2021.