A Federal High Court in Lagos, has fixed May 30, 2017, for hearing all pending applications in a debt recovery suit filed against Senator Stella Ada Oduah by Sterling bank Plc.
The bank is alleging that Senator Oduah and her company, Sea Petroleum and Gas Company are owing it the sum of $16, 412,819.06 million USD, and N100, 493, 225. 59
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, a lawyer, Mrs. Ijeoma Esom, who represented Oduah’s sea Petroleum company, told the court that she has not been served with a copy of the petition, though she has filed a preliminary objection to the suit, while the counsel representing Senator Oduah, A. Nweke, claimed that he had not been served, and also told the court that he had filed an application urging the court to discharge the order of the court freezing the account of the defendants.
However, the counsel, representing Sterling bank, Barrister Kemi Balogun (SAN) and Funke Aboyade (SAN) told the court that the order of the court was advertised in two National daily newspapers, thereafter he showed the court copies of the newspapers, he also corroborated his position by showing the court, the proof of service by the bailiff of the court.
However the defendants’ lawyers urged the court to grant them extensions of time for them to file their responses to the petition.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Ayotunde Faji, adjourned the hearing of the suit till May 30.
It would be recalled that about two months ago, the court restrained Senator Stella Ada Oduah, and Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, and his directors from making any withdrawal whatsoever from the account of the company and three other Limited Liability companies, Sea Shipping Agency Limited, Rotary Engineering Services Limited, and Tour Afrique Company Limited domicile with 21 commercial banks listed before the court over indebtedness of $16, 412, 819.06 USD, and N100, 493,225.59.
The court also granted an order directing the said commercial banks having Stella Oduah and the four companies’ asset to sequestrate up to the indebtedness of Stella Oduah and Sea petroleum and Gas Company Limited in the sum of $16,412,819.06 and N100,493,225.59 respectively owed by Stella Oduah and Sea Petroleum and Gas company as at November 2016 and keep same in an interest yielding account in the name of the chief Registrar of the Federal court pending the determination of the suit filed before the court to recover the debt.
The order of the court was sequel to an affidavit sworn to by business manager, Maritime of Sterling bank Plc Mr Segun Akinsanya, filed and argued before the court by Kemi Balogun (SAN).
Akinsanya in the affidavit avered that on October 8,2012, the bank granted a lease /cabotage vessel finance facility to Sea Petroleum and Gas Company in the sum of $10,069,620.25 USD, to finance one unit 5,000MTtanker vessel.
The loan was secured by unconditional personal guarantee of the companies director, Princess Stella Oduah supported by statement of her net worth, legal mortgage of two properties worth N135 million, power of Attorneys of the tanker vessel in favour of Sterling Bank and fully executed irrevocable.