N2.2 billion debt: Don Etiebet, Access Bank opt for out-of-court settlement

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By Bankole Adewale

Access Bank Plc and Chief Don Etiebet have opted to settle out-of-court multiple court matters arising from claims and counter claims between the two parties over transaction between the bank and a limited liability company, Top Oil and Gas Nigeria limited.

Following alleged indebtedness of Top Oil and Gas Development Company Limited to Access Bank to the tune of N2.2 billion, the bank had instituted legal action against Etiebet’s Company, Obodex Nigeria Limited, which guaranteed the credit facility for Top Oil and Gas Development Company with a property called Etiebets Place.

The Federal High Court in Lagos had on December 17, 2018 granted interlocutory order in favour of Mr Kunle Ogunba SAN which Access bank appointed as receiver/manager to recover the alleged debt of N2.2 billion.

Following the ruling of the court on April 15, 2019 refusing application for stay of execution of the interlocutory order, Obodex Nigeria Limited filed a similar application at the Court of Appeal on April 16, 2019.

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However, when the application on notice came up, counsel to the appellant (Obodex Nigeria Limited), Mr Dele Adesina (SAN) told the court that parties in the matter had agreed to resolve the pending issues out-of-court.

Adesina’s disclosure was confirmed by counsel to the bank , Mr. Etimen Oriaifo.

Consequent upon the information for amicable out of court settlement.

Justice Abubakar Tijani, who presided over the three-man panel of judges, adjourned the matter for hearing of report of settlement.

Justice Muhammad Liman, presiding over a Federal High Court, in Lagos, had earlier adjourned the substantive matter till June 4, 2019 for hearing of terms of settlement between the parties.

The adjournment was sequel to the disclosure by counsel to the plantiff (Access Bank), Divine Obina, that parties in the matter have reached advanced stage of out-of-court settlement, which was confirmed by Mr. Evaristus Asuzu, who was holding legal brief for Obodex Nigeria Limited.

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