Access Bank, Etiebet to settle out of Court over unpaid debt

Parties in a suit between Access Bank Plc and former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet over an unpaid debt today told Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, that parties to the dispute have agreed to settle of of court.

Following the inability of Don Etiebet to pay the multi billion naira loan owed the bank, the plaintiff, Access Bank had taken steps to take over the Etiebet Place, a property situate at  Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos, one of the  properties used as collateral for securing the facility, but the move have been resisted by the defendant Obodex Nigeria Limited under which name the property was registered.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, before Justice Mohammed Liman counsel to Access Bank Plc, Obinna Divine told the court that parties to the dispute are talking settlement and that the talk has reached an advanced stage, he then pleaded with the court for a short adjournment for the parties to come and file their terms before the court and adopt same as judgement of the court.

The defence counsel, E. I. Azuzu Evarastus confirm the position statement of Access Bank counsel as the true position of things.

Consequently, the trial judge adjourned the matter till June 4, for adoption of terms of settlement.

It would be recalled that Justice Liman had earlier refused Obodex Nigeria Limited’s plea to stay the execution of a December 17, 2018, judgment of Justice Ibrahim Buba, which empowered Access Bank to take over the property.

Access Bank had dragged Obodex Nigeria Limited to court over an alleged indebtedness.

The firm challenged the court jurisdiction to hear the matter.

However, on December 17, 2018, Justice Buba dismissed the objection filed  by Obodex Nigeria Limited and ruled in favour of Access Bank.

Pursuant to this, Access Bank took over Etiebet’s Place and appointed Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) as Receiver/ Manager to manage the property towards the recovery of the alleged debt.

Not pleased with the decision of the court Obodex Nigeria Limited under whose name the property Etiebet ‘s Place was filed an appeal as well as an application for stay of execution of the judgment.

In the application for stay of execution, filed through its lawyer, Mr Dele Adesina (SAN), Obodex Nigeria Limited sought an order restraining Ogunba (SAN) and his privies or assignees from “advertising or offering for sale, selling, mortgaging, transferring, alienating or otherwise interfering with the applicant’s equitable right of redemption on the property situated and lying at 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos, also known as Etiebet’s House, pending the hearing and final determination of the applicant’s appeals”.

But Access Bank, through Ogunba, opposed Obodex’s application for stay of execution.

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