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Local firm takes on banks, multinational company in court : (Access Bank)


Later today (Monday), one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous automobile companies, Doyin Motors Ltd, will ask Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos to vacate the ex-parte order Access Bank Plc used in sealing PeaceGate Oil and Gas Ltd, premises three weeks ago.

Access Bank had on September 14, 2009 sealed PeaceGate to arm-twist its managing director, Ayorinde Adedoyin, to offset a loan earlier taken. But Access Bank’s methods have been questioned considering that Doyin Motors sued the bank and three major companies in 2008.

Mr. Adedoyin, who doubles as Doyin Motors managing director, said Doyin Motors and not PeaceGate took an N80 million loan from Access Bank in February 2006. He said the bank falsely obtained the ex-parte order.

“Why should Access Bank lock up another business entity when their case is with Doyin Motors? They claim we owe them about N135 million yet they are aware Shell paid N94.5 million into our account with them on the 26th of August 2009,” Mr. Adedoyin said.

“So if at all we owe them, it’ll be N41 million. But they wouldn’t tell the court this. Besides, they played a major part in diverting over N200 million meant to have offset their loan. And our case is still in the Lagos State High Court.” Mr. Adedoyin added.

But Access Bank, through its Head of Corporate Communications, Austin Edoja-Peters, said the bank did what it felt best in view of recovering its funds.

“We have an all asset debenture as security, so we can take possession of any of his property. There is nothing more I’ll speak to you on this matter,” Mr. Edoja-Peters said.

The initial case

On April 18, 2008, Doyin Motors instituted a lawsuit at the Lagos State High Court t hrough its lawyer, Seni Adio of Copley and Partners, against Shell Petroleum, Access Bank, Mandilas Enterprises Ltd and First Bank Plc.

It accused Access Bank Plc, the 3rd Defendant, of conspiring with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), the 1st Defendant, to divert over N200 million in contract proceeds meant for it into third party accounts in Access Bank between October 2007 and December 2008.

Doyin Motors also alleged that Shell, through two of its staff, Lanzeni Coulibaly and Egwin Paschal, collaborated with Mandilas Enterprises Ltd., the 2nd Defendant, to divert some of the services contracted to Doyin Motors.

“Amongst the various malfeasance of the 2nd Defendant include, without limitation, intimidating and attempting to intimidate the Claimant’s employees by threatening them with physical harm,” the statement read.

But the General Manager of Mandilas, Stephen Gladwin, when contacted, said he wasn’t aware of any court case but, later in a text message, asked all requests for information be put in writing.

Mr. Adedoyin, however, said Mandilas earlier wrote to Doyin Motors claiming Shell approached them to handle some of the services contracted to Doyin Motors. He also said First Bank, the 4th Defendant was joined in the lawsuit as a nominal party.


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