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N784.3m debt: Court orders unfreezing of Benue govt’s account

The Federal High Court Abuja, on Tuesday, directed that all accounts belonging to the Benue Government except one domiciled in Zenith bank should be unfreezed.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order after adoption of Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) by lawyers representing parties in the suit.

While the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria is the claimant/applicant in the case, HPPS Multilinks Services Ltd and Benue Government are 1st and 2nd respondents.

The MoU dated Jan. 25 and filed on Jan. 26 was adopted on Feb. 1.

Leading other counsel, Mr T.D Pepe (SAN) adopted the MoU on behalf of Benue government while

Mr Val Igboanusi adopted on behalf of the plaintiff.

Mr A. T Kehinde (SAN) adopted for Fidelity Bank Plc, and Mr C. O. Nwosisi, was for GTBank Plc and counsel for the other banks also adopted on behalf of their clients.

Justice Ekwo subsequently ordered that Zenith bank with account No. 1013470079 designated as Benue Government Ecological Account remained 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.

Other banks were the court ordered that Benue government accounts be unfrozen 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 Oct. 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.

Justice Ekwo had upon an ex parte application dated and filed on Sept. 30 2021, made an interim order freezing and attaching the accounts of both HPPS Multilinks Services Ltd and Benue government who were 1st and 2nd respondents domiciled in the mentioned banks. (NAN)

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