Court Freezes Businessman’s Bank Accounts Over Alleged N522.5m Debt

A Lagos Federal High Court, in the interim, freezed accounts of a businessman, Francis Uzuegbu, and his company, Mac DE Frank International, in 24 commercial banks in Nigeria, over alleged N522, 589, 719. 27 million debt they owed Ecobank Plc and it’s parent company, ETI Specialized Resolution Company.

Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke, who presided over the court, freezed the businessman’s accounts, while granting an Exparte motion, filed and argued by Barrister George Chika Duru, counsel to the plaintiffs, Ecobank Nigeria Limited and Eti Specialised Resolution Company, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS /429/2023

The banks ordered to freeze the businessman’s accounts are: Access Bank Plc; Ecobank Nigeria Plc; First Bank Of Nigeria Plc; First City Monument Bank Plc; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; Jaiz Bank Plc. Wema Bank Plc; Keystone.bank Plc; Polaris Bank Plc; Stanbic Ibtc Bank Plc; Standard Chartered Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.

Others include: Union Bank Of Nigeria Plc; United Bank For Africa Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Globus Bank Plc; Titan Bank Plc; Providus Bank Plc; Fidelity Bank Plc; Unity Bank Plc; Lotus Bank Limited; Heritage Bank Limited; Tajbank Limited and Citibank Nigeria Limited.

The plaintiffs through their counsel, had asked the court for the followings “An Interim Order Of Mareva  Injunction restraining the first and second defendants, whether by themselves, agents, proxies, privies or any other person acting on their behalf from withdrawing, transferring, transacting and dealing in any manner howsoever with any monies/funds in their accounts with the Banks listed above up to the sum of N522, 589, 719. 27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only), pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on Notice filed along herewith. 

“An interim order of mareva injunction of this court compelling the banks listed above to hold and preserve the funds of the first and second defendants In their accounts to the tune of N522,589,719.27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only) pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith. 

“A Post No Debit (PND) order over funds/monies in any accounts linked to the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of the first and second defendants with the banks listed above to the tune of N522, 589, 719. 27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Elghty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only) pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith. 

“An Interim Order of the Court restraining the Defendants, their representative, assigns from alienating, disposing and/or selling the property located at 3 Siraatil Mustaquim Street, Ajah Lagos with a Registered Deed as No. 33/33/228, which was used as collateral for the respective facilities pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith. 

“An order directing the abovementioned Banks to file their affidavit of compliance with the Order made herein within 14 days of receipt of the order. 

“An order of the Court directing the plaintiffs to serve the Enrolled Order of the Court and the other Originating Processes filed in the suit at the defendants’ address situate at 68 Enu-owa Street, Idumota, Lagos.”

In acceding to the plaintiffs’ requests: Justice Aneke held that “reading through the Motion Ex parte, its Affidavit of 42 paragraphs deposed to by Edwin Ikpeba, Nigerian, of 2708, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria island, Lagos, with 19 Exhibits attached and Written Address signed by G.C. Duru Esq and all filed at this Court Registry, Ikoyi, Lagos. 

“after hearing G.C. DURU Esq of Counsel for the Plaintiff moved in terms of the Motion. And having carefully considered the application before this Honourable Court and submission of Counsel, it’s hereby orders as follows: “That An Interim Order Of Mareva injunction is made restraining the first and second defendants whether by themselves, agents, proxies, privies or any other person acting on their behalf from withdrawing, transferring, transacting and dealing in any manner howsoever with any monies/funds in their accounts with the Banks listed 7 above up to the sum of N522, 589, 719. 27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only) pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on Notice filed along herewith. 

“That An Interim Order Of Mareva injunction of this honourable court Is made compelling the banks listed above to hold and preserve the funds of the first and second defendants in their accounts to the tune of N522, 589,719.27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only) pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith. 

“That a post no debit (PND) order is made over funds/monies in any accounts linked to the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of the 1st and 2nd Defendants with the banks listed above to the tune of N522, 589, 719. 27 (Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo Only) pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith, 

“That an Interim Order of the honourable court is made restraining the defendants, their representatives, assigns and representatives from alienating, disposing and/or selling the property located at 3 Siraatil Mustaquim Street, Ajah Lagos with a Registered Deed as no 33/33/228 which was used as collateral for the respective facilities pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside herewith. 

“That an order is made directing the above-mentioned Banks to file their affidavit of compliance with the Order made herein within 14 days of receipt of the order. 

“That an order of the honourable court Is made directing the plaintiffs to serve the Enrolled Order of the Honourable Court and the other Originating Processes filed in the suit at their Address situate at 68, Enu-owa, Street, Idumota, Lagos.”

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned till June 26, for the hearing of all pending applications.