Access Bank Vs Orjiakor: Case Gets New Judge, New Date

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Monday fixed February 2, 2024, to resume hearing of an alleged bankruptcy suit filed by Access Bank against a businessman, Dr. Ambrose “ABC” Orjiakor, and firms connected to him.

The case, originally being heard by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, will henceforth be heard by Justice Isaac Dipeolu following Justice Oweibo’s transfer out of jurisdiction.

Access Bank filed the suit marked FHC/L/BK/08/2023, following the alleged inability of Dr. Orjiakor to pay the $101 million he allegedly owes the bank.

Listed as respondents in the suit are Seplat Energy Plc; Helko Nigeria Limited
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc; Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited; Zebbra Energy Limited; Ordrec Group Limited; Helko Marine Services Limited; Berwick Nigeria Limited; Abbeycourt Petroleum Company Limited; Abbeycourt Energy Services Limited; Abbeycourt Company Limited and Pursley Resources Limited.

In the suit, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) leads a team of counsel on behalf of the Creditor (Access Bank Plc) while Mr. O. Kalu appears for the alleged Debtor.

At the last hearing of the suit, Justice Oweibo adjourned to hear pending applications, including Access Bank’s contempt application against Orjiakor.

But when the suit resumed on Monday, January 22, 2024, Justice Dipeolu presided.

Ogunba informed the court that although the matter was adjourned for resumption of hearing, he noticed that it was not listed on the cause list.

Responding, Justice Dipeolu explained that this was because the case file was in the custody of Justice Oweibo for purposes of vetting and signing the last ruling he delivered in the suit.

Consequently, Justice Dipeolu adjourned till February 2, 2024.

The court had on July 26, while granting an ex-parte motion filed by Ogunba, froze Orjiako’s bank accounts and other assets over the alleged indebtedness.

It ruled, among others, that the order subsists pending the determination of the bank’s motion on notice for the appointment of a special manager.

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