Court freezes accounts of NDDC boss

Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere

Federal High Court in Uyo presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu has granted an order freezing all bank accounts belonging to the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere.

The order was granted following a case brought before the court by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON over Ekere’s alleged failure to honour and redeem a N27 million debt owed the defunct Oceanic Bank, now Ecobank Plc.

According to the court document, the NDDC boss who is a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, had allegedly defaulted in the repayment of a N27 million loan that the defunct Oceanic Bank, now Ecobank Plc, had given him.

It was alleged that all efforts by the bank to recover the debt yielded no results, as Ekere failed to honour his obligations to the financial institution.

Ecobank recently posted a huge loss, which its auditors attributed to bad loans.

According to a ruling by Justice Ojukwu of the Federal High Court of Nigeria (Uyo Judicial Division) with a case number: FHC/UY/CS/36/2017 “an order of the Court granting interim possession of Plot 1. 52 Lagos Street (Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State belonging to the Defendant to the Plaintiff/Applicant; an Order of the Honourable Court directing the State Commissioner of Police to provide Mobile Police Security where the property is situate to assist in the enforcement of the order of the Honourable Court”.

The ruling went on to state “that an order is granted freezing all monies and/ or whatsoever assets due to the Defendant from all bank accounts maintained by the Defendant with all commercial banks in Nigeria to wit: ACCESS BANK NIGERIA PLC, CITI BANK PLC, DIAMOND BANK PLC, ECO BANK PLC, FIDELITY BANK PLC, FIRST CITY MONUMENTAL BANK, FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA, GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC, HERITAGE BANK PLC, JAIZ BANK, KEYSTONE BANK PLC, SKYE BANK PLC, STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC, STERLING BANK PLC, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK PLC, UNION BANK PLC, UNITY BANK OF NIGERIA, UNITED BANK OF NIGERIA, WEMA BANK PLC, ZENITH BANK PLC, situate up to the Plaintiff/Applicant’s claim of the sum of N27,022,720.93 (Twenty Seven Million, Twenty-Two thousand, Seven hundred and Twenty Naira, Ninety Three Kobo) only being a debt owed by the Defendant as at 20th February 2017 in respect to the credit facility granted to the Defendant/Respondent by the defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc. (now Eco Bank Plc.).

“The Defendant his agents, privies or any other person natural or artificial however so called under the control of the defendant is restrained from transferring or otherwise dealing with any monies standing to the credit of the Defendant with any of the aforementioned banks wherever situate up to the amount of the Plaintiff/Applicant’s claim of the sum of N27,022,720,93 (Twenty Seven Million, Twenty two thousand, Seven hundred and Twenty Naira, Ninety three Kobo) only being debt owed by the Defendant as at 20th February, 2017 in respect of the credit facility granted the Defendant by the defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc. (now Eco Bank Plc)”.

In his reaction, an aide to Ekere, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the story as false and the fabrication of the Akwa Ibom State Government.

He said the story was aimed at tarnishing the image and personality of the NDDC boss, noting that Ekere would respond in due course.