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N22.5bn Debt: Union Bank Seeks Retraction from Ibrahim



November 23, 2010

Union Bank of Nigeria Plchas asked Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos to order businessman, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies to publish a retraction on the from page of THISDAY newspaper over an advert they published last Monday, so as to restore the sanctity of the court.
The bank also asked the court to make Ibrahim and his companies give an undertaking not to make same or similar publication again or give an undertaking as to the damages in the event that they make similar publication as the contained in the advertorial.
In an affidavit in support of the motion on notice sworn to by Chukwudi Enebeli, from the law firm of Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), the bank said following the order made by the court on November 15, 2010, which the court ordered to be published in the newspapers, the enrolled order was served on the defendants, particularly NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet and Barrister Ibrahim.
It stated that rather than file processes in reaction to its claims and any perceived objection to the orders, the defendants on Monday, November 22, 2010 published a statement about the proceedings in this suit particularly the interim orders of injunction made by the court.
The bank, which described the publication as contemptuous and disrespectful to the court, asked the latter to make a pronouncement stopping a repeat.
Union Bank also said that in order for the defendants to purge themselves of contempt and restore the dignity of the court, it was necessary for them to publish a retraction.
Justice Idris had last week ordered Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, owned by Barrister Ibrahim, to stop dealing with its 51 per cent shares or any part thereof held in Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation Plc and NICON Insurance Limited.
The order was sequel to the company’s refusal to pay the N22.5billion, being the outstanding of the amount granted to it by Union Bank in January 2009 to do business and which it has failed and refused to liquidate.
Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation Plc, NICON Insurance Limited and NICON Investment Limited are owned by Barrister Ibrahim.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, all the counsel to the defendants asked the court to set aside and discharge the order and that at no time was 51 per cent shares at NICON Insurance pledged to the bank In a breakdown by Ibrahim’s lawyer, Mr Dele Adesina (SAN), he said he has £130 million and also £125.2million with the Union Bank and asked the Bank to publish any letter purportedly authorising it to sell his money and account for the proceed of the sales as claimed by Union Bank.
Ibrahim said he did not secure any loan with Union Bank as NICON Insurance shares, stressing that the threat to take over NICON Insurance “is empty.”
Ibrahim also said NICON Investment has asked Union Bank to account for its £130 million deposit in a suit filed since May 2010 in which the bank has not filed a defence.
The judge later adjourned the case to December 1 for the hearing of the case.
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