N333 Million Debt: Court Freezes All bank Accounts Of Benue State, Gov Ortom Reacts
Court Freezes All bank Accounts Of Benue State, Gov Ortom Reacts. Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the order following an ex-parte motion brought by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), also directed that the bank accounts of HPPS Multilink Services Ltd be frozen pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit.
“That the loan granted to the respondents has crystalized to the sum of seven hundred and eighty four million, three hundred and forty thousand, five hundred and twenty eight naira, three kobo (N784, 340, 428.03) as at 2014 from the sum of N333,000,000 (Three hundred and thirty three million naira) granted to the 1st defendant in 2008 and guaranteed by the 2nd defendant as contained in the letter of Aug. 15, 2014 which represents the interest and the principal sum as at Aug. 15, 2014 and same has remained unpaid till date.”
The affected bank accounts for the two respondents are domiciled with Access Bank Plc; Citibank Nigeria Limited; Eco Bank Nigeria Plc; Fidelity Bank Plc; First Bank Nigeria Plc; First City Monument Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Pic. Others include those in Heritage Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Limited; Polaris Bank Limited; Stanbic IBTC Plc; Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited; Sterling Bank Plc; Suntrust Bank Nigeria Limited; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; United Bank for Africa Plc; Unity Bank Nigeria Plc; Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
The ex-parte motion, with suit number: FHC/ABJ/AMC/74/2021 dated and filed on Sept. 30, was moved by Counsel to AMCON, Darlington Ozurumba. The court also made an interim order “freezing and attaching the JAAC Bank Accounts (Joint Accounts Allocation committee), Internal Generated Revenue Accounts, all bank accounts both current, savings, fixed deposits and/or investments accounts of the 2nd respondent (Benue Government) maintained with all the banks mentioned above pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
An interim order is hereby made restraining all banks and/or other financial institutions above mentioned in Nigeria forthwith from releasing or dealing in any manner howsoever with monies held in any account to which the respondents are signatories pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An order is hereby made directing all banks and/or other financial institutions in Nigeria to, within seven (7) days of the date of service of this order, file and serve an affidavit of compliance disclosing with statement on each account howsoever designated, held and/or maintained by the respondents and ail accounts to which the respondents are signatories for a period of sic months prior to the date of service of this order till date.”
Governor Ortom of Benue state, has said it was not served the motion exparte prior to the garnishing of its accounts over a N333 million loan that was acquired in 2008. According to him, “We have not been served with that process. We have not been served with the writ of the originating summons.
“We have sent our lawyers to the court, and since we have not been served with the originating summons and because of the urgency of the matter and the way all government accounts have been placed on lien, we have sent our lawyers to the court to find out what the problem is.