Skye Bank losses bid to stop payment of N3.9bn damages

Skye Bank losses bid to stop payment of N3.9bn damages

The Court of Appeal sitting at Akure, the Ondo State capital, has struck out the motion of stay of execution applied by Skye Bank Plc on the judgment in favour of Tuns Farms Limited.

The court said it took the position on the grounds that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter given that the bank had already filed an appeal challenging its ruling on the original case at the Supreme Court.

In the same ruling the court also struck out all other motions sought by the bank.

According to the presiding judge, Justice Sotonye Denton-West, the court was in agreement with Mr. Duro Adeyele (SAN), counsel to Tuns Farms Limited, that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain a case that has already been entered at the Supreme Court.
She stated that any deliberation of the matter was “an exercise in futility” and “amounts to a waste of the court’s time” since records of the case are already at the Supreme Court.

Earlier, Mr. Oluwemimo Ogunde (SAN), counsel to Skye bank, has persuaded the court to hear and rule on the motion that the execution of the original judgment by a trial court was not properly carried out and should be set aside, insisting that the court will have to rule one way or the other.

In response, Justice Mohammed Ambi-Usi Danjuma, one of the judges of the Court of Appeal reminded the lawyer that “the supreme court will not be interested in asking whether or not the execution was properly done.

The Supreme Court was approached to determine whether the Court of Appeal was right to uphold the judgment of the trial court.”

Delivering the court’s ruling on the matter, Justice Denton-West said “this court has been inundated by applications mostly overtaken by events and before the highest court of the land. If the rule of law is not respected, this will lead to anarchy.

“The court has no jurisdiction. A judgment has been executed. A motion of stay of execution will amount to academic exercise. There is no live issue to be determined by this court.

“The court is obligated to strike out the application and all other ancillaries. There are hereby struck out.”

Osun State High Court Oshogbo had, in three separate judgements against Skye Bank Plc, awarded damages totalling N3.9 billion to Tuns Farms Limited alongside other subsidiaries of Tuns Group. When the bank appealed the judgment at the Court of Appeal, the appellate court upheld the judgment of the trial court.

Subsequently, Tuns applied to the High Court and got the writ of attachment and sale against goods of judgment debtor and the order was executed.

According to Tuns in the writ of summon, the bank offered a credit facility of N414 million to it and the offer was accepted.

The company said it had planned to use the fund to develop its property in Abuja.

Tuns projected to earn a net income of N1.152bn from the project but the bank turned round and released only N150 million thereby breaching the contractual agreements entered with the company.

Delivering his judgments at the high court on March 14, 2014, Justice A. O. Ogunlade held that there is overwhelming evidence before the court Skye Bank breached the fundamental terms of the contract without lawful justification.

The court also awarded special damage in full to the claimant, in the sum of N3, 991,150.000 being the loss the claimant suffered due to the refusal and failure of the Defendant to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract of 17th August, 2005.

Subsequently, Skye Bank appealed the judgment and lost again at the Court of Appeal.

Skye Bank Plc, through its lawyers, has applied for a stay of execution of the judgment of the high court and following the execution also applied for the court to set aside the execution. Both applications were struck out by the Court of Appeal.

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