Alleged N156bn Debt: Stallion Group Loses Bid To Discharge Mareva Injunction

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Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has dismissed various applications filed by Stallion Nigeria Limited, and it’s sisters companies, to discharge a restrained order and to unfreeze their accounts.

Justice Aluko had in October 20, 2023, while granting an Exparte motion marked FHC/L/CS/2074/2, filed by United Bank For Africa (UBA) Plc, through it’s s lawyer, Temilolu Adamolekun, restrained all banks in Nigeria from releasing funds to Stallion Nigeria Limited and it’s sister companies till the hearing and determination of the suit.

The judge specifically made the following orders: “An Interlocutory Order protecting the Plaintiff/Applicant who is the Receiver/Manager appointed by the 1st Plaintiff/Applicant, to take over the exclusive possession of the mortgaged property known as all that piece or parcel of land together with any building thereon situate, lying and being a Plot 371, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and covered by a Deed of Assignment dated 7th of April 2009, registered as No. 53 at page 53 in volume 318 of the Lands Registry Office at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by virtue of the Deed of Appointment made on the 15rh of June 2023, pursuant to the Duly Registered Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated 16th June 2011 executed by the 1st Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant and the 4th Defendant, pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.

“An Interlocutory Order of the Court protecting the 4th Plaintiff/Applicant who is the Receiver/Manager appointed by the 1st Plaintiff/Applicant, to take over the exclusive possession of the mortgaged property known as all that piece or | parcel of land together with any building thereon : situate and lying at Plot 353, Trans Amadi Industrial layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and covered by a Deed of Assignment dated 7th of April 2009 and registered as No. 4 at page 4 in volume 326 of the Lands Registry Office at Port Harcourt, Rivers State by virtue of the Deed of Appointment made on the 1st of June, 2023, pursuant to the Duly Registered Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated 15th May, 2013 executed by the 1st Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant and the 4th Defendant, pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.

An Interlocutory Order of the Court protecting the 4th Plaintiff/Applicant who is the Receiver/Manager appointed by the 1st Plaintiff/Applicant, to take over the exclusive possession of the mortgaged property known as all that Piece and Parcel of Land together with any building thereon situate and lying along Plot 370, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and covered by a Deed of Assignment dated 7th of April 2009 and registered as No. 61 at page 61 in volume 318 of the Lands Registry Office at Port Harcourt, Rivers State by virtue of the Deed of Appointment made on the 15th of June, 2023, pursuant to the Duly Registered Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated 14 of June, 2011, executed by the 1st Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant and the 4th Defendant, pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.

“An Interlocutory Order of the court protecting the 4th Plaintiff/Applicant who is the Receiver/Manager appointed by the 1s Plaintiff/Applicant, to take over the exclusive possession of the mortgaged property known as all that Piece and Parcel of Land together with any building thereon situate, lying and being at Km 17, Lagos, Badagry Expressway, Lagos State, Nigeria, and covered by a Deed of Indenture dated 31th January 1978 and registered as No. 37A at page 37A in volume 1686 of the Lands Registry Office at Ikeja, lagos State by virtue of the Deed of Appointment made on the 15th of June, 2023, pursuant to the Duly Registered Tripartite Deed of Legal Mortgage dated 12th August, 2011, executed by the 1st Plaintiff, the 2nd Defendant and the 4th Defendant, pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.

“An Order restraining the defendants, their directors, Shareholders, employees, Officers, agents, servants and privies or any other person(s) acting on their behalf or deriving any right from them, from interfering with, intermeddling with, obstructing, disturbing and or frustrating Romeo Ese Micheal Esq, the Receiver/Manager from exercising all the powers vested in him or performing his duties as receiver of the mortgaged properties described in prayers (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.

“An Interlocutory Order of the court granting protection to Romeo Ese Micheal Esq, the Receiver/Manager appointed by the 1st Plaintiff/Applicant herein by virtue of the Deeds of Appointment dated 15th of June 2023.

“An Order of the court directing the 12th to 43rd Respondents to disclose on oath whatever sum of money that may be in their custody belonging to the defendants for further direction of this Honourable Court,”

Other applicants in the suit were; United Bank For Africa, Cameroon SA; United Bank For Africa, Cote D’ivoire SA and Romeo Ese Michael, the receiver/manager.

While other respondents were: Von Automobile Nigeria Limited; Popular Farms and Mills Limited; Havana Nigeria Limited; KRBL Food Industries Limited; Qingqi Motorcycle Manufacturing Limited; Stallion Auto Keke Limited; Stallion Motors Limited; The Honda Place Limited; Yokohama Construction Limited and Mr. Sunil Vaswani

Also, the banks barred by the court from dealing with the respondents including; Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Ltd, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank Of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Globus Bank Limited, Heritage Bank Plc, Jaiz Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Lotus Bank Limited, Parallex Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited and Premium Trust Bank Limited.

Others also include; Providus Bank Plc, Stanbic Ibtc Bank Nigeria Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Sterling Bank Plc, Suntrust Bank Nigeria Limited, Tajbank Limited, Titan Trust Bank Limited, Union Bank Of Nigeria Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Kuda Microfinance Bank Limited, Moniepoint Microfinance Bank Limited, Piggyvest Technology Limited, Cowrywise Financial Technology Limited, Opay Digital Services, Federal Ministry Of Defence and Federal Ministry Of Finance.

However, perturbed with the orders, Stallion Nigeria Limited and other respondents through their lawyers led Wahab Shittu and Professor J.N. Mbadugha, both SAN, filed an applications seeking to discharge the mareva injunction and another asking the court to dismiss suit in entirety.

Also, the applicants, equally filed an application extending the mareva injunction till the hearing and determination of the suit.

Justice Aluko, after perusing all applications filed by the parties, and after citing plethoras of authorities, resolved all issues raised by the parties in favour of the applicants.

Consequently, the judge dismissed the respondents’ applications.

In dismissing the applications, Justice Aluko in a composite ruling delivered on December 8, 2023, held “the Defendants have failed to controvert the documentary evidence. With the above and particularly exhibit S13 showing the indication or movement of the receivables from the contract financed by the 1st Plaintiff meant to be employed or utilized to repay the Defendants’ indebtedness out of jurisdiction to Dubai. Iam of the view that the possibility of dissipation of the res is very high and this call for the grant of the instant application.

“In view of the provisions of Sections 554 and 556 of CAMA, the 4th Plaintiff is entitled to be protected in the performance of his statutory duties and functions hence the grant of reliefs 1-10 has become necessary while the 1st – 3rd Plaintiffs are equally entitled to reliefs 11-17 in the application……..

“At the end of it all, it is my considered view that the Plaintiffs’ application dated 17/10/2023 filed on the 18/10/2023 has merit and substance in it.

“The Plaintiffs have again placed cogent and sufficient credible evidence before the Court to be entitled to the reliefs in the application.

“Accordingly, reliefs 1-17 on the face of the application are hereby granted.

“The Plaintiffs are ordered to energize their existing indemnity in favour of the Defendants by entering into a fresh undertaking as to damages.”

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