Court Freezes Federal Lawmaker’s Bank Accounts

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Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya

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A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the freeze of 11 bank accounts held by Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya, a former member of the House of Representatives, over unpaid multi-million Naira debts

A FEDERAL high court sitting in Lagos has ordered eleven commercial banks in the country not to honour any withdrawal transaction on the accounts of Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya, a former member of the House of Representatives. Justice Mohammed Yunusa, who gave the order, restrained the affected banks from allowing Uboh-Ogunkoya to withdrawal from her accounts with the banks pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice before the court.

The affected banks are United Bank for Africa, UBA, First Bank, Zenith Bank, Enterprise Bank, Skye Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank and Stanbic IBTC. Aside from the order freezing the lawmaker’s accounts, the court also made an interim order restraining the Registrar of Titles of Lagos and Delta states, and Director of Lands, Abuja Geographical Information System, from making any advance payment or release any funds either in naira or United States dollar, which sum represents proceeds from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, contracts belonging to Uboh-Ogunkoya’s company, or her agent, privies, assigns or anyone acting through the lawmaker or her company.

The order of the court was sequel to an application filed by Sterling Bank, through Dada Awosika, its lawyer, against Uboh-Ogunkoya and her company, Dagasteel International Limited. Sterling Bank, in an affidavit sworn to by Tunji Bajowa, a senior recovery officer with the bank, recalled that Uboh-Ogunkoya was granted multiple credit facilities of $1,600,000, and N100 million, to fund the completion of the contract awarded by the SDPC, the NPA and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited, PPMC, to the lawmaker’s company, Dagasteel International Limited.

The bank alleged that Uboh-Ogunkoya, as at the time the credit facilities were granted to her, made available her property measuring 3,055,195 sqm, situated at 22, Onuwa Street, behind Ogbe-Umudia mixed Secondary School, Agbor, Ika South Local Government of Delta State. Another property measuring 1334,342 sqm belonging to one Adebowale Ogunkoya, situated at Victory Estate, Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and a property situated at 11, Abdou Diof Crescent, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were also pledged as security/collateral for the loan.

Bajowa claimed that the lawmaker and her company utilised the multiple credit facilities which were meant to procure and install materials as per the terms contained in their various contracts from the SPDC and the NPA. The bank further alleged that it had always been up and doing in requesting for updates on the SPDC and the NPA projects from the defendants particularly, on the payment status of the SPDC and the NPA’s project, and that several letters were written to the two defendants for confirmation of domiciliation of the SPDC projects’ proceeds to the defendants’ banks accounts and that when it realised that the installation of the contract material had been completed and payments were being processed, the two defendants rebuffed its letters.

The bank stated that upon inquiry conducted by its officials at the SPDC Port Harcourt, it was informed that the two defendants had processed the first part of the SPDC’s contract and the proceeds in excess of USD 1,600,000, diverted by the two defendants for their personal use. The bank added that it came to its knowledge that the said sum of $1,600,000, was diverted and utilised by the female lawmaker to prosecute her senatorial ambition both at primary level of her party politics, as well as the 2015 general election to the National Assembly.

Consequently, Sterling Bank is seeking an order of the court against the defendants on the payment of $1, 770, 509.34 and N117, 351, 475. 54, which represent amount outstanding from multiple credit facilities granted and utilised by the two defendants for the execution of contract awarded by SPDC and NPA. The bank also wants interest on the said sum at 21 per cent per annum, which represents CBN’s prime lending rate, from March 3, 2015, until judgment is delivered and thereafter at 10 per cent after judgment until judgment sum is totally liquidated. The matter has been adjourned to May 19 for report of compliance with the interim orders.

Uboh-Ogunkoya, is a former member of the House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was also a senatorial candidate of Labour Party in the just concluded general election.

— Apr. 27, 2015 @ 14:40 GMT

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