Court Grants Relief to Communication Company, Dismisses AMCON’s Ex-parte Order

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Federal High Court, Abuja has vacated an ex-parte order against Peace Global Satellite Communication network and it’s Managing Director, Oreye Udo Livingstone which was earlier obtained in March this year.

The earlier interim ex-parte order which granted Benson Ibezim, the 3rd Claimant/ Respondent the receiver Manager appointed by AMCON which is the 1st Respondent to take possession of the properties belonging to Oreye and his wife which includes their residence and hotel located at Omole estate, Lagos was vacated after careful consideration of all Affidavits, counter-Affidavits, written addresses, exhibits and submissions of counsel for and against the relief sought.

In a statement signed by Ovie Edomi, Media Consultant to Barrister Oreye Livingstone it is stated that the presiding Judge who ordered immediate vacation of the ex-parte while delivering judgement noted that the court discharged or set aside the earlier order because the earlier ex-parte order was obtained without jurisdiction and upon suppression of facts. Besides the Judge noted that AMCON’s Lawyer went ahead to move the motion on March 9th in spite of the fact that a notice of Appeal showing that the matter was in the Supreme court was served the Claimant on February 14 this year.

Oreye Livingstone had earlier petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions over the seizure of his properties by AMCON.

The petition goes thus, “Asset Management Company Of Nigeria (AMCON) took possession of his two housing properties and business premises after 15 heavily armed Policemen storm his hotel in Omole estate in July 24 this year and AMCON Receiver, Benson Ibezim took partial possession of the properties because the Receiver failed to file motion on notice within 14 days as directed in Paragraph 9 of the same order of the court dated March 9,2020. However, three days to the court ruling, the Receiver attempted to take full possession.

According to Oreye “This is happening when the matter which has dragged on for years is now before the Supreme Court”.

Findings reveal that Oreye through his company Peace Global Satellite Communication in 2004 borrowed N 178 million to supplement the rolling out of wired phone. Out of the N178m borrowed, the sum of N162 million was paid back, remaining a balance of N16m on principal. There was a thunderstorm that destroyed the Peace Global Satellite Communications network, a development that made WEMA bank to attempt selling the collateral used to secure the loan but Peace Global went to court in 2009 claiming amongst other things, that WEMA Insurance Brokers failed to process their thunderstorm claim for 2 years. This matter we also gathered was already in court before the creation of AMCON but according to Oreye, WEMA Bank misrepresented to AMCON that balance on principal was N240m which made AMCON to buy the loan for N123m. According to the petition, compilation of records was done by all parties including AMCON on June 16, 2020. Thereafter the records were transmitted on June 19, 2020 to Supreme Court while brief of Argument has since been filed.

But Ibezim in his affidavit claimed that the matter was not before any court.But Oreye through his Lawyer was able to prove to the court that the matter is before the Supreme court necessitating the same Judge vacating the earlier order.

As at press time, AMCON’s security men are still at the residence of Oreye at Omole estate and his business premises, an hospitality outfit, also located at Omole estate, Lagos hours after the judgement of the Court even when AMCON’s Lawyer has obtained the certified true copy of the judgement and was in court when the judgement was delivered.

Meanwhile, Oreye has called on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to ask AMCON to withdraw its’ security men from his residence and hotel in strict obedience to the court order

Meanwhile, after the ruling, Oreye’s lawyer, Barrister Mike Umonnan, commended the court for being the hope of the hopeless and expressed confidence in the judiciary.

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