Benue govt Zenith Bank account remains frozen: Court
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the unfreezing of all accounts belonging to the Governor Samuel Ortom-led Benue government except one domiciled in Zenith Bank.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order after the adoption of a Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) by lawyers representing parties in the suit. The MoU dated January 25 and filed on January 26 was adopted on February 1.
While the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria is the claimant/applicant in the case, HPPS Multilinks Services Ltd and the Benue government are first and second respondents.
T.D Pepe (SAN) adopted the MoU on behalf of the Benue government, and Val Igboanusi adopted it on behalf of the plaintiff. A. T Kehinde (SAN) adopted for Fidelity Bank Plc, and C. O. Nwosisi did for GTBank Plc and counsel for the other banks also adopted on behalf of their clients.
Mr Ekwo subsequently ordered that Zenith, with account No. 1013470079 designated as Benue Government Ecological Account, remain frozen in the sum of the disputed debt vide interim order of the court pending the determination of the case.
He, however, ordered the unfreezing of all Benue government accounts with Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Ltd, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Heritage Bank Pic. Others are Keystone Bank Ltd, Polaris Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Suntrust Bank Nigeria Ltd, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, UBA Plc, Unity Bank Nigeria Plc and Wema Bank Plc.
The judge adjourned the matter until March 2 for a report on the order.
“Pursuant to discussions and agreement by the parties, all other accounts of the Benue government frozen by this court vide interim order of October 26, 2021, are to be unfrozen while Account No. 1013470079 with Zenith Bank Plc, designated Benue Government Ecological Account shall remain frozen in the sum of the disputed debt, pending the determination or resolution of the dispute,” he stated.
The judge had, upon an ex parte application dated and filed on September 30, 2021, made an interim order freezing and attaching the accounts of both HPPS Multilinks Services Ltd and Benue government domiciled in the mentioned banks.
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