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First Bank, MDs Face Contempt Suit

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First Bank, MDs Face Contempt Suit

A Lagos Federal High Court, Justice Peter Lifu, has fixed March 25, this year, for hearing of all applications in a contempt proceeding suit filed against First Bank Nigeria Limited and its three officials, by a judgment creditor, Abdulaziz M. H. Nyanko.

Others listed as alleged contemnors alongside First Bank are: it’s former Managing Director, Mrs. Ibukun A. Awosika; the current Managing Director Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Adesola K. Adeduntan and Francis O. Shobo, the bank’s former Deputy Managing Director.

Justice Lifu had on January 12, 2024, fixed the date, after taking arguments from judgment Creditor/applicant’s counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje alleged contemnors’ counsel, E. A. Okorie.

At the hearing of the suit, the judgment Creditor/applicant, Nyanko, through his lawyer, informed the court that the business of the court, was to hearing the contempt application against First Bank and it’s officials, whom he said have continue to flagrantly disobey the garnishee Order Absolute, granted by Justice M. B. idris, now sitting as Appeal Court Judge, on March 8, 2022, in suit marked FHC/L/CS/149/2019, Between AbdulAziz M.H Nyako Vs Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Other.

Ogungbeje told the court that the contempt suit against the First Bank and it’s officials, was pursuant to Section 72 of the Sheriffs And Civil Process Act; Order 35 Rules 1.2 (1)(2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019;

Order IX Rule 13 (2)(3) of the Judgments Enforcement Rules; Order 26 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019 and under the court’s Inherent Jurisdiction Preserved By Section 6 (6)(A)(B) of the 1999 Constitution of the. Federal Republic Of Nigeria.

Ogungbeje further submitted that, since contempt proceeding is a criminal in nature, the alleged contemnors must first appeared before the court before any application from them can be entertained.

But counsel to First Bank and it’s co-alleged contemnors, Okorie, told the court that he has objections to the judgment Creditor/applicant’s application.

Okorie told the court that his objection to the application, is premised on jurisdiction, saying that the court lacks jurisdiction, since appeal has been entered.

However, Justice Lifu, after taking submissions from parties, adjourned to March 25, for hearing of all applications in relations to the contempt suit.

The judgment Creditor/applicant has asked the court for the following: “a declaration that the contemnors sought to be committed are bound to obey and comply with the Garnishee Order Absolute, granted on the 8th of March 2022 in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/149/2019 Between AbdulAziz M.H Nyako Vs Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) & Ors, upon the disclosure of sufficient funds belonging to the Judgment debtors domiciled with them and in the absence of any pending positive order from this Honourable Court or Court of Appeal granting a stay of execution of the garnishee order absolute.

“An order of the Court convicting and committing the 1st Contemnor herein First Bank Of Nigeria Limited for willfully and deliberately disobeying the Order of this Honourable Court made on the 8th of March 2022.

“An order of the Court convicting and committing the 2nd Contemnor herein Ibukun A. Awosika to the Nigerian Correctional Services, Ikoyi service/prison for willfully and deliberately disobeying, the Order of this Honourable Court made on the 8th of March 2022

“An order of the Court convicting and committing the 3rd contemnor herein Adesola K Adeduntan to the Nigerian Correctional Services, Ikoyi service/ prison for willfully and deliberately disobeying the Order of this Honourable Court made on the 8th of March 2022

“An order of the Court convicting and committing the 4th Contemnor herein Francis O. Shobo to the Nigerian Correctional Services, Ikoyi service/prison for willfully and deliberately disobeying the Order of this Honourable Court made on the 8th of March 2022

“An order of the Court that all the contemnors shall remain committed and incarcerated in the Nigerian Correctional Services, Ikoyi Service/Prison Custody until they purge themselves of contempt of court.”

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