I’m not indebted to any bank –  fmr Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah

I’m not indebted to any bank – fmr Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah

Former  Aviation Minister  Stella Oduah,as described as untrue
allegations that she was indebted to Sterling Bank and other
commercial banks.
On Wednesday, a Lagos Federal High Court restrained Mrs. Oduah and Sea
Petroleum from making withdrawals from 21 accounts in some commercial
banks.
However, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Mrs. Oduah
who is now a serving Senator from Anambra state  said she had resigned
from the company, Sea Petroleum, which was alleged to be indebted to
banks.
“I resigned from the company since 2010. Sterling got injunction on
earlier order.
“They gave sea shipping facility to buy vessel. They defaulted. But
the order lapsed today.
“The lawyers appealed for a set-aside. That was what they argued and
order was set aside,” she said.
The other companies barred from making withdrawals include Sea
Shipping Agency Ltd, Rotary Engineering Services Ltd, and Tour Afrique
Company Ltd.
The court issued the orders over an alleged indebtedness of the
defendants in the sum of about 16.4 million dollars and N100.5
million.
Also, the court issued an order directing the said commercial banks
harbouring the assets of Mrs. Oduah and the four companies to
sequestrate their indebtedness as at November 2016.
The court ordered that the money should be kept in an interest
yielding account in the name of the chief Registrar of the Federal
court, pending the determination of the suit filed before the court to
recover the debt.
The order of the court was sequeled to an affidavit deposed to by
Business Manager of Sterling Bank Plc., Segun Akinsanya, filed and
argued before the court by its Counsel, Kemi Balogun.
In the affidavit, Mr. Akinsanya averred that on Oct. 8, 2012, the bank
granted a lease /Cabotage Vessel Finance Facility (CVFF) to Sea
Petroleum and Gas Company in the said sums to finance one unit 5,000
MT tanker vessel.
He averred that the loan was secured by an unconditional personal
guarantee of the companies’ director, Princess Stella Oduah.
Mr. Akinsanya also averred that same was supported by a statement of
her net worth, legal mortgage of two properties worth N135 billion,
and a power of Attorney of the tanker vessel in favour of Sterling
Bank.
Also, in support was a fully executed standing payment order and
tripartite remittance agreement between First Bank plc, Sterling Bank
and Stella Oduah.
It was further averred that in June 27, 2013, Sea Petroleum Company
requested and was granted additional facilities in the sum of about
450,000 dollars for post-delivery expenses.
He said that also granted was about 993, 000 dollars to meet the
requisite conditions in securing the release of the tanker.
Also, he averred that upon the persistent failure of the defendants to
liquidate their indebtedness, Sterling Bank instructed its counsels to
recover the debt.
He said that in spite of several reminders, and demands, the
defendants had failed and refused to liquidate their indebtedness
which had culminated to 16.4 million dollars, and about N100.5 million
as at November 2016.
Mr. Akinsanya also averred that the defendants were also greatly
indebted to a number of banks and had conceded a number of assets to
AMCON who had stepped into the shoes of those banks.
He averred that there was imminent risk of the defendants dissipating
the assets of the companies.
The plaintiff urged the court to grant the order restraining Stella
Oduah and other directors of the companies from withdrawing money from
the account of the companies domiciled with 21 banks pending the
determination of the debt recovery suit.

In an ex -parte application filed and argued before the court by
Balogun, he stated that it had been difficult to serve court processes
on the defendants.
The judge, Abdulaziz Anka, consequently ordered that court processes
be advertised in National Newspapers.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Oduah and her companies urged the court to discharge
the order made against them.
They also filed a preliminary objection to the suit and urged the
court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
However, Mr. Anka fixed March 20 to decide whether or not to vacate the order.

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