Firm Demands Compliance with Judgement on $4.5m Eco Bank Guarantee

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Agency has demanded compliance with Judgement on $4.5m Eco Financial institution Assure.

 

 

Newsonline stories {that a} transport firm, OAN Abroad Company Nigeria Restricted (OAN), has approached the federal Excessive Court docket in Lagos to demand for the fee of the sum of $4,581,774.86 in compliance with a Supreme Court docket’s judgment.

 

OAN initiated an admiralty motion in 2006 towards the Vessel MT “Ocean Success” and Grasp of the Vessel MT “Ocean Success” and Bronwen Power Buying and selling Restricted (BETL) during which it claimed the sum of $1,986,939.97 as an impressive debt towards BETL for port and cargo dues, ships’ expenses and company charges, in addition to curiosity.

The cash included the principal sum claimed by it plus curiosity which Ecobank undertook to pay when it issued a financial institution assure to safe OAN’s claims.

 

Ecobank, to be able to safe the claims of OAN on the Federal Excessive Court docket, issued a financial institution assure, numbered EBN/1346 on December 1, 2006, in favour of OAN Abroad Company for $1.9million or no matter sum which may be adjudged by the Federal Excessive Court docket and appellate courts on behalf of BETL.

 

On March 14, 2011, the Federal Excessive Court docket, in a judgment by Justice Dan Abutu (Chief Choose now retired), awarded OAN the sum of $1,986,939.97 with curiosity on the fee of 15 per cent every year from November 23, 2006, to March 14, 2011, and one other easy curiosity on the judgment sum on the fee of six per cent every year till full liquidation.

 

The BETL appealed towards the judgment and on December 9, 2014, the Court docket of Enchantment delivered judgment that allowed the attraction partially, whereas sustaining the judgment of the Federal Excessive Court docket.

 

However the OAN appealed to the Supreme Court docket towards the a part of the judgment that was not beneficial to it and challenged the a part of the judgment of the Court docket of Enchantment the place the courtroom awarded $400,000 in favour of BETL with out proof as required by regulation.

 

Nevertheless, the BETL cross-appealed towards the Court docket of Enchantment judgment sustaining the award of $1,986,939.97 plus pursuits in favour of OAN requesting the Supreme Court docket to dismiss the claims of OAN and strike out the swimsuit.

 

On February 18, 2022, the Supreme Court docket affirmed the Federal Excessive Court docket and Court docket of Enchantment judgments in favour of OAN and sustained the awards of the sum of $1,986,939.97 plus curiosity and dismissed BETL’s cross-appeal.

 

Based mostly on the Supreme Court docket verdict, OAN demanded $4,581,774.86 from Ecobank, inclusive of curiosity, by advantage of the assure issued by Ecobank to pay to OAN any sum that is perhaps awarded in its favour in any case appeals.

 

Based mostly on the ultimate judgment of the Supreme Court docket and the assure issued by Ecobank, OAN demanded by means of its Counsel, Sylva Ogwemoh (SAN) of the agency of KMO Authorized quick fee of the full sum of $4,581,774.86 inclusive of curiosity awarded in favour of OAN by the Supreme Court docket in its remaining judgment delivered on February 18, 2022.

 

The financial institution, in letters dated March 10 and March 11, 2022, acknowledged receipt of the letter.

 

“We want to inform you that we’re at the moment reviewing the contents of your letter and the attachments thereto. We crave your sort indulgence to revert to you earlier than the top of the week,” Ecobank wrote on March 11 by means of its Firm Secretary/Chief Authorized Counsel, Mr. Kenneth Okere.

 

On March 22, the financial institution additionally wrote to OAN once more by means of Okere, stating that it was nonetheless reviewing the Supreme Court docket’s judgment.

 

“As we have now not concluded our evaluate of the courtroom judgments and contents of your letter, we’re constrained to crave your additional indulgence to grant us extra time as much as March 30, 2022, to revert to you,” Okere wrote.

 

The Supreme Court docket, in a judgment that was delivered by Justice Mary Peter-Odili on February 18, 2022, struck out BETL’s cross-appeal and upheld OAN’s attraction.

 

The Justice of the Supreme Court docket held that “the preliminary objection on the competence of this cross-appeal succeeds and is upheld. The cross-appeal being incompetent and not using a chance of redemption is subsequently struck out.

 

“Lastly, the principle attraction succeeds partially. The cross-appeal fails and is struck out.”

Ecobank, after a number of weeks of requests for indulgence in responding to the demand for fee of the assure made by OAN and its counsel, lastly denied legal responsibility underneath the financial institution assure.

 

It has now approached the Federal Excessive in a swimsuit filed on Could 29, 2020, asking for an interpretation of the financial institution assure it issued and the judgments of the Court docket of Enchantment and the Supreme Court docket.

 

It’s the case of Ecobank that the assure it issued was for the discharge of the Vessel MT “Ocean Success.”

OAN has filed a defence to the swimsuit stating that the motion of Ecobank is an abuse of courtroom course of and that the financial institution assure issued by Ecobank doesn’t require any interpretation given the clear and unequivocal wording of the financial institution assure.

 

OAN acknowledged in its defence that it was apparent from the financial institution assure, and as it’s customary in admiralty observe, that the assure was issued to safe the claims of OAN and never issued on behalf of the vessel that was not in any manner linked with Ecobank.

Additionally it is the case of OAN that, BETL being the social gathering that utilized for and paid the requisite consideration for the issuance of the financial institution assure and likewise the social gathering on behalf of which the financial institution assure was issued by Ecobank to cowl its legal responsibility or indebtedness to OAN in any case appeals as much as the Supreme Court docket, Ecobank has no selection than to honour the financial institution assure it issued in favour of OAN.

 

The OAN additionally filed a counterclaim towards Ecobank searching for N1billion damages, amongst different reliefs.

OAN contended that Ecobank as a business financial institution in Nigeria has no authorized foundation to not honour the financial institution assure it willingly gave to keep away from unsuitable alerts being despatched to the worldwide group.

 

The swimsuit, numbered FHC/L/CS/787/2022, got here up for point out on July 20 earlier than Justice Yellin Bogoro.

All of the events have been represented. The plaintiff was represented by Mr. Ogute of the regulation agency of F. O. Akinrele and Co.

 

Adeyinka Abdulsalami from Punuka Attorneys was current in courtroom following the listening to discover served on their chambers to symbolize the second defendant.

 

He claimed he appeared out of respect for the courtroom and that he didn’t have the directions from the second defendant to symbolize it within the swimsuit.

 

The second defendant has not additionally been formally served with the originating course of filed by the plaintiff.

Within the circumstance, the matter was adjourned until October 4, 2022, to allow events to kind out the difficulty of service of course of on the second defendant.

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