A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that all the accounts of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, or funds in the custody of Central Bank of Nigeria and 10 other commercial banks in Nigeria should be attached to satisfy the judgement sum of N5,643,753,404.92 awarded in favour of SPDC West Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited by Lagos Division of Appeal court.
The order was issued on November 2,2020 sequel to an application filed before the court by the counsel to SDPC Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited, Barrister Ayoola Ajayi.
In an affidavit in support of the application for order Nisi attaching the accounts or funds of the judgement Debtor SEC in the custody of the Garnishees in any or all of their branches anywhere in Nigeria or within the jurisdiction of the court sworn to by a legal practitioner, Mr Solomon Ojo, filed and argued before the court by Mr Ayoola Ajayi, the deponent averred that on 3June 3,2015, the Investment and Securities Tribunal ruled in the case of SDPC Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited vs SEC in which the Tribunal dismissed the claim of the Cooperative Society.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Tribunal, the Cooperative Society appealed against the judgement at the Court of Appeal.
On June 24, 2019, the Court of Appeal delivered judgement, whereby the appeal was allowed, set aside the Tribunal’s judgement and replaced it with the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
In its judgement, the Appellate court granted all the claims of the Cooperative Society as claimed in its amended statement of claim except for the claim for general damages of N500million which was reduced to N100 million.
There is no appeal against the said judgement of the Court of appeal.
Pursuant to the order for registration of the said judgement which the court made on 4th March 2020, the said judgement was registered in the Federal high court’s Register of Judgement and a certificate of judgement dated 4th of March 2020 was accordingly issued.
The Court of Appeal granted the judgement Creditor’s claim for its return money in the sum of N1,118,481,000 as claimed in the Appellant’s claim, plus interest thereon at the rate of 14%from 2nd January 2008 up till the date the judgement Debtor satisfied the judgement fully.
The court of Appeal also granted the judgement Creditor’s claim for general damages by awarding the sum of N100 million as general damages against the judgement Debtor, SEC, instead of the sum of N500 million claimed by appellant.
The return money in the sum of N1,118,481,000 plus interest thereon at the rate of 14% per annum from 2nd of January,2008 as awarded by the court of Appeal has accumulated up to the sum of N5,543,753,404.92 as at 20th of March,2020.
SEC has not paid the aforesaid judgement sum to the cooperative Society up till date despite having become obliged to pay the Judgement sum to the Judgement creditor from 24th of June 2019 when the Court of Appeal ordered the judgment debtor to pay the Judgement sum plus interest to the Cooperative Society.
Consequently, Mr Ajayi urged the court in the interest of justice to grant the application as the Garnishees and the Judgement Debtor SEC will not be prejudiced if the application is granted.
The presiding, Muslim Hassan, in his ruling said that:
“Upon reading the affidavit in support of the motion Ex-parte sworn to by Solomon Ojo, with the law firm of Oak Partners of 187 Igbosere Road, Lagos and filed at the Federal High Court registry, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“And after hearing Ayoola Ajayi with Solomon Ojo Judgement/Creditor/applicant’s application Ex-parte dated and filed on the 23rd day of March,2020, the applicable laws, the relief sought including the exhibit attached and the written address of the Counsel for the Applicant, this application is granted as prayed.”
He directed the Garnishees “to appear before the court to show cause why an order should not be made against the Garnishees for payment of the amount of debt due to and owing or accruing from the Garnishees to the Judgement debtor or so much thereof as will satisfy the total outstanding Judgement sum due and owed by the Judgement debtor under the Judgement Creditor against the judgement debtor in the judgement entered for the Judgement of the investment and Securities Exchange Tribunal delivered on the 3rd June 2015 in the total sum of N5,643,753,404,92.until the entire judgement sum is fully satisfied.
“That order Nisi is granted, attaching the accounts or funds of the Judgement Debtor in the custody of the Garnishees in any of their branches anywhere in Nigeria or within the jurisdiction of this court.
“That the Garnishees are directed to immediately disclose the comprehensive statement of the accounts and sums in whatever form or shape standing to the credit of the Judgement debtor with the Garnishees in the said account as at the date of service of the order of the Court on the Garnishees and such disclosure must be on oath and verify affidavit sworn and filed before the court and serve on Judgement creditor within seven days of the service of the order of the court.”
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till 7th of December 2020 for further hearing.