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Business

Access Bank rejects Appeal Court’s suspension of injunction against Seplat, approaches Supreme Court

Access Bank has expressed its displeasure over the ruling by the Court of Appeal which lifted the Mareva injunction against Seplat Petroleum.

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Access Bank Plc has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, objecting to the suspension of the interim Mareva injunction on the assets of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, by the Appeal Court.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal had suspended the Mareva injunction, and subsequently ordered the opening of Seplat’s corporate offices.

READ: NNPC to pay BCE $22.6 million over failed contract 

Nairametrics reported that Access Bank Plc had obtained the Mareva injunction through an Ex-Parte order dated November 13, 2020 to seal offices and freeze the accounts of Seplat, over the indebtedness of Cardinal Drilling Services, a company which Access Bank believes is partly owned by Seplat’s boss, Mr ABC Orjiakor.

After some months of being under lock and keys, respite came the way of Seplat Petroleum on January 22, 2021 when Hon. Justice Ikyegh of the Appeal Court lifted the interim order on Seplat Petroleum assets, pending the determination of the appeal filed by Seplat.

READ: Innoson boss reacts to arrest warrant, says order is an abuse of process taken so far

Access Bank’s reaction to the ruling

  • Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling by the appeal court, Access Bank, through its Solicitors, Kunle Ogunba and Associates maintained that the learned justices of the court erred in law through the suspension of the interlocutory orders made by the trial judge at the Federal High Court. The solicitors regarded the outcome as an abuse of court process filed to interfere with the due administration of justice.
  • The bank in an affidavit maintained that “by discharging the said interlocutory orders, the Lower Court had unwittingly (via a motion) determined the main Appeal which seeks to also discharge the interlocutory orders made by the trial court.”
  • The bank is praying that the Supreme Court reinstate the interlocutory orders made by the Trial Court on December 24, 2020, thereby overriding the judgement of the Appeal court en route.
  • In the same vein, the Bank is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants, that is Seplat, Cardinal Drilling Services Ltd, Mr. Orjiako, Ambrose Bryant, Kalu Nwosu and/or any other person acting through them from taking further steps towards enforcing, executing or giving any effect to the ruling/order of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal it has filed at the Supreme Court.

READ: Access Bank unveils SWIFTPAY, digital payment platform for SMEs

Flashback:

  • Recall that Nairametrics reported some months ago that Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat over debt owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited.
  • The bank also obtained a Mareva injunction freezing the accounts of Seplat in Nigeria and abroad.
  • Seplat had appealed the December 24, 2020 decision of the Federal High Court granting injunctions that, among others, resulted in the sealing of its corporate offices in Lagos.
  • The Federal High Court had earlier turned down an application by Seplat to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.
  • Access Bank is understood to be grappling with a string of bad loans issued under the defunct Diamond Bank and is now stepping up efforts to go after some of the debtors by obtaining several court orders to seize properties.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Business

Lagos, Chinese firm to rollout 1,000 SUVs as taxis, to complete auto assembly plant in 12 months

Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to roll-out 1,000 SUVs as taxis for Lagos residents.

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Lagos dismisses levy on audio and visual contents, suspends LSFVCB boss, Lagos SEC meeting goes virtual as full lockdown commences, Partial lockdown guidelines for businesses from May 4, Nigeria @ 60: Lagos State Government opts for a low-key celebration of the Independence Day

Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday for the roll-out of 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.

The signing and flag-off ceremony which was held at the Lagos House, Marina also included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State, with the Governor saying that the roll-out of vehicles from the plant is expected within the next 12 to 18 months.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme was another innovative policy of his administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.

Sanwo-Olu said that the scheme would create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put the state on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.

What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying

Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transport system is a key thrust of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.

He said, ”We are guided by the need for an equitable transport system with mobility choices for our people. The Taxi Scheme, to be known as ”Lagos Ride”, which is being inaugurated today is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transport choices.

”It is one of the Lagos State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes- a modern ride-hailing service that will be professionally managed in line with global best practices. Under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four years during which they pay a monthly instalment and they will have the opportunity of owning the cars after they have fully paid the hire amount.

”The Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model, it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant was expected to revive industrialisation, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.

He said, ”As we inaugurate the taxis and sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 12 to 18 months.

”I urge the beneficiaries of the Lagos State Taxi Service to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme.We have the political and administrative will to ensure the Taxi Scheme survives.

”I am hopeful that the operators will cooperate with the Lagos State Government to render excellent service to the people,” he said.

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The Group Chairman, CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said that they hope to celebrate this exciting moment again when 1,000 units of branded SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, with 1,000 well-trained drivers carrying happy customers that live and work in Lagos.

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What this means

  • This collaboration by the Lagos State Government with the Chinese auto firm is one of the ways of the government to get private sector participation in a modern transport system within the metropolis’
  • The establishment of the Assembly Plant and the Lagos Taxi Scheme were among the benefits of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s official trip to China.
  • This is a welcome development as it will help to change the face of public transportation in the state.

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Business

FG announces extension of work-from-home directive for GL 12 officers, below

FG has extended the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.

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Nigeria gradually moves to total lockdown as FG asks public servants to work from home

The Federal Government has announced the extension of the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.

This is seen as part of the measure by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which had surged earlier this year, due to the second wave of the outbreak across the country and the discovery of a new variant of the disease.

This announcement was made in a statement by the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, the office of HOSF, Mr Abdulganiyu Aminu, on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Abuja.

READ: FG sets committee to support tech start-ups with affordable internet access amid lockdown

The statement partly reads, “All public servants on GL12 and below have been directed to continue working from home till the end of March 2021.

Yemi-Esan said the latest directive was in adherence to the advice of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19.

The Head of Service of the Federation harped on the need to maintain the downward trend of the Covid-19 infection in the country and as such the reason for the extension of work from home directive.

While also emphasising the need for all public servants to continue to ensure strict compliance with the existing guidelines on the prevention and spread of the pandemic, she enjoined all Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive officers to bring the content of the circular to all concerned and ensure strict compliance.

READ: Landlords offer incentives to counter “work from home” induced vacancy rates

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government in January 2021, announced the extension of work from home directive for civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below until February 28, 2021.
  • The directive was as a result of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which had seen a spike in infection rates across the country.

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