Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has been informed by the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Chief Don Etiebet and Access Bank PLC., that the decision to settle the multiple court cases arising from claim and counter – claims between the former and the later over commercial transactions between the bank and Top Oil and Gas Nigeria limited, have been reached.
The duo specifically informed the appellate court presided over by Justice Tijani Abubakar today that Access Bank Plc., and Chief Etiebet have opted to settle out-of-court.
Addressing the Court of Appeal on the decision of the parties, counsel to the appellant (Obodex Nigeria Limited), Dele Adesina (SAN) said the parties in the matter have reached an advanced stage in the moves to get the dispute resolved amicably.
While pleading with the upper court for the matter to be adjourned to enable parties conclude the amicable resolution of the dispute, Adesina (SAN) said, “The fireworks may not be necessary.
“The parties are setting out of court.”
In aligning with the submissions of Adesina SAN, counsel to the financial institution, Ehimen Oriaifo said, “That is the true position of things.”
It would be recalled that consequent upon the alleged indebtedness of Top Oil and Gas Development Company Limited to Access Bank to the tune of N2.2 billion, the new the bank had initiated a legal action against Etiebet’s Obodex Nigeria Limited, which guaranteed the credit facility for Top Oil and Gas Development Company with a property called Etiebets Place.
Prior to this time, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, presided over by Justice Mohammed Liman had on December 17, 2018 granted an interlocutory order in favour of Kunle Ogunba (SAN), which Access Bank appointed as Receiver/Manager to recover the alleged N2.2 billion.
As a result of the ruling of the court on April 15, 2019, which refused the application for stay of execution of the interlocutory order, Obodex Nigeria Limited promptly filed a similar application at the Court of Appeal on April 16, 2019.