Debtor Notice: Between Interstella Communications Limited and CBN

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Thursday, October 3, 2019   / 03:35PM  /  By Tony Nnadi Esq    / Header Image Credit: writeady.com

 

Being the text of the public notice published in newspapers titled: PUBLIC ATTENTION TO THE LAST LETTER OF DEMAND WRITTEN BY INTERSTELLA COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, CBN (COPIED TO THE HON. ATTORNEY- GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION: & TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE PRESIDENT, FRN), PLEADING FOR THE CBN TO COMPLY WITH THE 2017 JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA IN A MANNER THAT WOULD NOT DISRUPT THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM, PUBLIC CONVENIENCE A. ORDER: AND AT THE SAME TIME PREVENT OFFSHORE EMBARRASSMENT TO NIGERIA.

 

 

September 02, 2019

The Governor

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Central Business District

Abuja.

 

Attention: Godwin Emefiele

 

Your Excellency

 

FINAL LETTER OF DEMAND FOR PAYMENT OF A SUM OF $285,124,422,30 (Two hundred and Eighty-Five million, One Hundred and Twenty-Four thousand, Four hundred and Twenty Two US dollars and Thirty cents) IN COMPLIANCE WITH JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA IN SUIT NO SC 500/2014 DELIVERED AGIANST THE CBN IN OUR FAVOR ON 15TH DECEMBER 2017.

 

This is our 3rd and FINAL letter to you Sir, by which we respectfully demand, from the CBN, payment of all sums owed us flowing from the above SUPREME COURT Judgment. We first wrote you on 16th January 2018 and demanded payment of all due sums as of that date On 24th May, 2019, we wrote you again on the same subject. Unfortunately, we have not received any response to any of the above letters.

 

When we reconciled the outstanding sums owed us by the CBN with the Office of the Hon Attorney - General of the Federation and Minister for Justice on 25th June 2018, the parties arrived at a sum $260,113,393,50 payable within on interest free period of 30 days. As of this 2nd day of September 2019, the sum due and payable to us by the CBN is $285,124,422.30 (Two hundred and Eighty-Five million, One hundred and Twenty Four thousand, Four hundred and Twenty Two US dollars and Thirty cents).

 

We now DEMAND that the CBN pays us the above sum of $285,124,422.30 (Two hundred and Eighty-Five million, One hundred and Twenty-Four thousand, Four hundred and Twenty -Two US Dollars and Thirty cents) BY OR BEFORE 16TH day of September 2019 per following account details:

 

As you are aware Sir, by our letter of 1st April 2019, we served you a World-wide Assets-freezing Order or Mareva Injunction, against assets of the Central Bank of Nigeria up to a tune of $1.5 billion as security towards satisfaction of Equitable Remedies Claimed by us pending determination of an underlying action grounded an tort for Damages, and huge Financial Directly from the CBN's Disobedience, And Being In Contempt, Of The Supreme Court Judgement of 15th December 2017, in Appeal No.SC, 500/2014, Between CBN v. Interstella Communication Ltd, & 3 Ors.

 

In the said letter (of 1st April 2019), we conciliatorily stated as follows:

 

"You will note Sir, that though we are reeling with the pains od CBN's hurtful and unfair discriminatory conduct against us, we still restrained extra territorial impact on Nigeria. Hence , we have elected to (a) not give publicity to this Order become of the nature of the accounts we are freezing: this is in Order to protect such information from predatory exploitation; (b) we deliberately inserted prayers for the extant Orders 3 and 4 in our Application to the Hon Court: our intention was to minimize the impact of the freezing order and thereby encourage the CBN to do the right, wise, prudent and judicious thing by paying the existing debt without provoking us to activate the Order worldwide (c) We are mindful of the fact that offshore proceedings may highlight the extreme dysfunctions and irregularities in the machinery of governance in Nigeria today the Administration's attitude to court orders and probity. It is therefore our wish that the CBN does not compel us to proceed against it offshore and thereby unwittingly being observance of Rule of how in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration into question. Besides, it will be quite ridiculous and an embarrassing spectacle for Nigeria to be a defendant in a foreign jurisdiction against the judgment or orders of her own municipal courts, particularly her supreme Court judgment. There are things no self-respecting nation should EVER allow to happen to her image before comity of civilized nations. We are therefore appealing to you Sir, to use your good Office to prevent a situation that could be quite embarrassing for the entire Administration offshore. We waited patiently for the Elections to be concluded so that no mischievous bigot is given on opportunity to impute political or other motives into our act, in a democracy, Judgment of Courts of competent jurisdiction, MUST be obeyed even by the President or Prime Minister, as the case may be. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT GIVEN THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR CASE, NO DEFENCE WILL AVAIL THE CBN OFFSHORE. Indeed, to the contrary, it is highly unlikely that a USA court will decline her citizens a relief or judgment that a foreign jurisdiction (Nigeria) has already granted us in proceedings at the municipal court of that same sovereign country (Nigeria). The CBN should therefore be encouraged to do damage control by complying FULLY with either Order 1 or Orders 4 and 5 within seven days onshore, as the only reasonable options available to it in the instant Asset-Freezing Order without making further fuss, if the CBN intends to contain the fallouts and impact within Nigeria. Where the CBN opts to be prudent by electing to abide by Order 4 and 5, it should be well understood that not one dime of accumulated interest will be waived."

 

The CBN unfortunately, elected not to reciprocate our good faith consideration for not activating the Order extra-territorially since 7th April, 2019 as granted by the honorable court. Despite that, we still have not activated the WORLDWIDE effect of the said Asset-Freezing Order, Perhaps the CBN opted to dare us!

 

We respectively ask that you advert your mind, Sir, to the following unusual circumstances of the instant case in order for you to appreciate the degree and magnitude of the collateral damages Nigeria could suffer within the comity of Nations consequents upon the CBN's conduct on this matter, if we had been hawkish extra-territorially. We persevered in adopting less controversial measures because Nigeria is not just a country.

 

Nigeria represents Africa and the Black race. Nigeria's standing or stature, behavior, conduct or attitude is used as a yardstick to measure the developmental, moral, culturally and intellectually capacity of the Black race. It is her responsibility and divinely ordained sacred burden to behave herself as a role model for ALL descendants of the African race before the world. Unfortunately, sometimes some Nigerian leaders and bureaucrats either fail to realize this burden in their public acts or just couldn't care less.

 

However, on our side, we were soberly mindful of the following consequently we sought to limit our actions so far within Nigeria:

  1. If Nigeria (present Administration) is perceived as a nation that defies her own sovereign SUPREME COURT Orders. She would be seen as a lawless entity before comity of Nations
  2. The reciprocal protocols between Nations under Sovereign Immunity Acts or Lows that each Nation promulgates within her laws were not intended to avail or tolerate any sovereign entity who does not abide by Rule of Low and respect for court orders within her sovereign jurisdiction. Such entities or Regimes are seen as outlaws or FUGITIVES from their own courts, more-so a SUPREME COURT. Such nations are not clothed with the majesty of sovereign robes within comity. Instead, they are dressed in the tattered rags of FUGITIVES and outlaws. We do not want Nigeria to be so characterized and humiliated.
  3. Given the self-inflicted notoriety Nigeria suffers at this time for failure to respond or challenge international court orders. It does her present case no good to be seen fighting judgment of her own sovereign courts in offshore forum at the same time she is Fighting judgements delivered against her by foreign courts. Indeed, it seals her fate and stamps the regime as a lawless entity that does not obey court orders from ANY jurisdiction. This will do huge public relations damage for whatever efforts are being made to mitigate the impact of the offshore $9.9billion award against Nigeria.
  4. A worldwide Assets Freezing Order is NOT a property attachment order is NOT a property attachment order. An Assets freezing order, unlike a property attachment order, does not grant proprietary rights to a claimant, and it does not strip the owner off the title right of the frozen assets. However, as long as the underlying dispute lingers on, the frozen assets are unavailable to the defendant against whom the freezing order is made because the Order is only PRESEVATORY to ensure that when judgment is given in favor of the claimant fail, he compensates the defendant for denial of right of use of the frozen assets during the time it took to resolve the issues against him.
  5. Consequently (by virtue of equitable provisions in (iv) above), an Assets freezing order, once made, CANNOT be set aside even if the owner of the asset contests the claim against him or appeals against the order. The assets remain frozen until ALL issues in dispute are FINALLY resolved and interests will be accumulating no matter how long it takes to resolve the dispute one way or the other THAT IS THE JURISPRUDENCE OF MAREVA INJUNCTION.
  6. In the instant case, one of the claims against the CBN is incontestable by virtue of the fact that it is a debt affirmed by the SUPREME COURT against which no appeal (anywhere) can lie. Besides, the damages claimed flow from on unlawful  conduct of the CBN being in contempt of Nigeria's Supreme Court Orders, an act that offends public policy of ALL major powers within comity.

 

While we were being very mindful of above facts, it is surprising to us that unlike ourselves, the CBN, an institution staffed by Nigeria's exceptionally intelligent people who are otherwise dedicatedly serving their country's interest, does not see and try to avert the potential scandal and danger ahead, which indeed we have sacrificed to save her from suffering.

 

We now disclose to you Sir, that in addition to the above offshore scenario, we have a fieri facias (fi fa) Order since April 2019, which authorizes us to disrupt the CBN operations locally in order to compel the CBN to respect and obey the SUPREME COURT ORDERS. Again, we have been reluctant to execute the fieri facias Order because we do not want unnecessary public drama, negative and embarrassing publicity for the Administration, and the inevitable adverse effect which will DEFINITELY bring a lot of inconvenience to innocent citizens as well as the business community in Nigeria. What other sacrifice do we have to make before our lawful money is paid to us.

 

However, haying demonstration the level of restraint, reasonableness and sense of responsibility listed above in the expectation that the CBN will reciprocate by paying us the CBN having unfortunately chosen not to do so till today, we are satisfied that no reasonable entity can blame us for any coercive.

 

Action we now feel compelled to take. Even then, we are hereby once more, and for the LAST TIME, pleading with you Sir, to obey SUPREME COURT ORDERS by paying us the above debt sum BY OR BEFORE 16TH day of September 2019; failing which we SHALL exercise ALL other lawful options available to us. In other words, we are hereby appealing to you, and respectfully putting you on good faith NOTICE, Sir, that we will activate ALL options available to us in law, to collect all sums payable to us along with costs, if the CBN fails to pay us the debt sums BY OR BEFORE 16TH  day of September 2019.

 

Thank you very much, Sir, and accept assurances of our highest esteem for your good self and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 

 

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

 

 

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