Court Freezes ABC Orjiakor’s Accounts, Assets, Investments Over $101million Debt

Dr. A.B.C. Orjiakor

A Lagos Federal High Court, has frozen the accounts of a Nigeria businessman, Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka (ABC) Orjiakor, and restrained him from dealing with assets, investments, and funds in bank accounts over $101.12 million USD, unpaid debt.

The development was sequel to the alleged debtor’s inability to pay the judgment sum entered in favour of Access Bank Plc, by Mr. Justice Philips of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in a suit marked CL/2014/000815; the judgment which was affirmed by the Supreme Court of England and duly registered as the judgment of the Federal High Court in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/219/2018, with the sum of $101,126,629.99 USD, being the outstanding debt since September 15, 2021.

In an Ex-parte Motion dated July 12, 2023, with Charge numbered FHC/L/BK/08/2023 between Access Bank Plc (Judgment Creditor) and Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor (Judgment Debtor), an Interim Order was made restraining the alleged debtor, his agents, servants, and or privies from interfering with, tampering and removing from the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court his funds, investments, bonds, shares, pecuniary and other beneficial interest in all banks, financial institutions and/or company in Nigeria” pending the hearing and final determination of Motion on Notice  for the appointment of a Special Manager.

The court also made an order authorizing the judgment creditor herein to take over and preserve all the assets of the judgment debtor, whether same may be found or situate.’    

The court also made a consequential Order directing and/or compelling all banks and financial institutions harbouring the debtor’s (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor) accounts to depose to Oath the sums standing to the credit of the debtor in their custody within seven days from being served with an Order of the Court.

The 12 firms listed as respondents to the Motion are Seplat Energy Plc, Helko Nigeria Ltd, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited, Zebbra Energy Limited, Ordrec Group Limited, Helko Marine Services Limited, and Berwick Nigeria Limited. Others are Abbey Court Petroleum Limited, Abbey Court Energy Services Limited, Abbey Court Company Limited, and Pursley Company Limited.

In a letter dated August 4, 2023, signed by Olasubomi Azeezat Saliu for ‘Kunke Ogunba & Associates, acting for Access Bank Plc, the chamber advised respondents to the Motion to ‘forthwith stop further dealings or dissipation of the bond, shares, investments standing to the credit of Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka  Orjiakor, be it directly or held via proxy and furnish details of such bond/ shares/investments/interest belonging to the debtor’ to the firm.

As part of the judgment, Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court  granted an order freezing the bank accounts and assets of Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor, a co-founder and former Chairman of Seplat Energy, over the indebtedness to Access Bank Plc.

The court order read: “That an Interim Order is hereby ordered restraining the debtor (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor), his agents, servants and/ or privies or any other person or group of persons whatsoever under his authority or any other authority (however derived or sources) from operating, withdrawing from or otherwise tampering and/ or dealing with his funds in any bank and/or financial institution within Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for the appointment of a Special Manger filed along herein.

“That a consequential order is hereby made: directing and/ or compelling all banks/ financial institutions harbouring  the debtor’s (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukweloka Orjiakor) in their custody with seven days from being served with a copy of the order of court.

“That Interim Order is hereby made restraining the respondents from dealing with shares, investments, bonds, assets, funds howsoever described belonging to the Debtor (whether held by him directly or via proxy) in their custody and/ or in custody of any bank/ financial institution pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice for the appointment of a Special Manager filed along herein.

“That a consequential order is hereby made directing and/or compelling respondents harbouring the debtor’s (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor) shares, assets, bonds, funds howsoever described, whether held directly by the said Debtor or via proxy, to depose on Oath the shares, assets, investments, sums etc, standing to the credit of the Debtor (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor) in their custody within 7 (seven) days from being served with a copy of the order of the court.

“That an Interim Order is hereby made restraining the debtor (Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiakor), his agents, Servants and/ or privies from interfering with , tampering, removing from jurisdiction of this honourable court his funds, investments, bonds, shares, pecuniary and other beneficial interests in all banks, financial institution and/ or company in Nigeria principally in Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited, Allenne Limited and in the Respondents pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice for the appointment of a Special Manager filed along herein.

“That an order is hereby made authorizing the creditor herein to take over and preserve all the assets of the debtor, whether same may be found, specifically the following properties belonging to the debtor be it directly or via proxy: No. 25A, Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos, No. 6, Agodogba Avenue, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.”