14 September 2017

Nigeria: Court Freezes Zamfara State Accounts in 20 Banks

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order freezing the accounts of the Zamfara State Government in 20 banks in the suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/728/17, which was filed by the Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) against the state government, Prostar Electric Company Limited and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN.

The order was sequel to the debts the state is oweing a number of banks in the country running into over N600million.

The court has also restrained the defendants from transferring or dealing with the monies belonging to the Zamfara State Government and Prostar Electric in the 20 banks.

The banks include: Access Bank Plc, Central Bank of Nigeria, Citibank Plc, Diamond Bank, Ecobank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank.

The other banks are: Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank of Africa, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, and Zenith Bank.

The court specifically granted an order "restraining the defendants jointly and severally, the directors, agents, servants, privies, subsidiaries, successors-in-title or otherwise any other person natural or artificial, howsoever called under the control of the first and second defendants from transferring or otherwise dealing with any and all of the monies standing to the first and second defendants credit in the 20 banks or anywhere else up to the amount of the claimants claim in the sums of $3,475,960.00 and N250 million, only pending the hearing and determination of this suit."

The judge also granted an order restraining the 20 banks "whether by themselves, agents, servants, privies, trustees, nominees, proxies or otherwise any person natural or artificial howsoever called from honouring any instruction authored by the first and second defendants individually and or in association with other persons and or allowing the first and second defendants in whatever form or description with the said banks, pending the determination of the suit."

The 20 banks are also prohibited by the court from making further payments to Zamfara State Government in respect of its share of the London/Paris Club debt refund maintained by the banks, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The banks were also directed to file and serve on the applicant's counsel within seven days of services of the order on it, an affidavit disclosing the first and second defendants balance on accounts held with the said banks as at the date of the order.

All third parties that are contractually obligated are directed to pay all or any sum outstanding for contracts and sale of goods already executed and for which payments are due to the first and second defendants into the honourable court to be deposited into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.

Nigeria

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