Alleged Diversion of Crude Oil: AITEO asks court to commit 2 banks to prison

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed March 2 to rule on whether to first hear an application challenging its jurisdiction or committal proceedings against 2 banks for disobeying its order to freeze the accounts of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo fixed the date after hearing arguments of lawyers in the case on which application should be heard first. AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd through its counsel, Kemi Pinheiro SAN had filed form 48 as provided under the Sherrif and Civil Process Act to initiate contempt proceedings against the banks and its officials.

Pinheiro told the judge that the alleged contemnors willfully disobeyed the court’s interim orders of January 25, 2021, directing them to block SPDC accounts, for allegedly “interfering, obstructing and/or frustrating compliance with the interim orders.”

The banks and their officials are Citi Bank Ltd, its Company Secretary Sola Fagbure and Chief Financial Officer, Sharaf Mohammed; and United Bank For Africa (UBA) Plc, its Company Secretary, Bill Andrew Odum, and Chief Financial Officer, Ebenezer Kolawole.

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