Court orders AMCON to unfreeze NCC director, others’ bank accounts
A Federal High Court in Lagos has set aside an ex-parte order that froze the bank accounts of a member of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Clement Omeiza Baiye and two firms, Verity Communications Ltd and Verity Associates Ltd.
Justice Muslim Sule Hassan held that the order–obtained last June 16 by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)–was based on copies of public documents not certified and thus inadmissible in law.
His ruling followed the trio’s August 21, 2020 Motion on Notice filed by its counsel Professor Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, seeking an order of court discharging the ex-parte interlocutory orders.
Agreeing with Osipitan, Justice Hassan held that “The law is trite that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there, it will collapse.
“Exhibits ACC 1-5 are public documents, which provided the platform for the grant of the ex-parte application, were not certified contrary to the provisions of Sections 102, 104 and 105 of the Evidence Act. The instant application is meritorious and it is hereby granted’’, the judge held.
The suit was formerly before Justice Maurine Onyetenu, who granted the order before it was re-assigned to Justice Hassan.
Justice Onyetenu’s order affected Capital Consortium Ltd (1st defendant) and seven other defendants over an alleged N128, 975,094.04 debt and granted AMCON possession of the 2nd defendant’s property at 11C/D Femi Okunnu Estate Phase II, Lagos.
Other defendants are Falobi Owolabi (2nd defendant), Clement Baiye (3rd defendant), Idris Bashir (4th defendant), Credence Assets Management Ltd (5th defendant), Verity Communications Ltd (6th defendant), Alidan Investments Ltd (7th defendant), and Verity Associates Ltd (8th defendant).
Baiye was joined in the suit for being a Director of Capital Consortium Ltd (first defendant) when the facility was granted to the firm by the defunct Intercontinental Bank, while his companies were sued based on him being a substantial shareholder of the companies.
But upon being served with the ex-parte orders, the 3rd, 6th and 8th defendants, through Osipitan, prayed the court to set it aside.
Osipitan argued, among others, that the Interlocutory Orders were unconstitutional and oppressive of the applicants given the circumstances of the case.