Court freezes Stella Oduah’s firms’ accounts over $16.4m, N100m debt

Ramon Oladimeji

The Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen the bank accounts of four companies linked to a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, over alleged indebtedness of $16,412,819.06 and N100,493,225.59.

 The four companies whose accounts were frozen in 21 commercial banks in the country are Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, Sea Shipping Agency Limited, Rotary Engineering Services Limited, and Tour Afrique Company Limited.

 Justice Abdulaziz Anka, who made the freezing order, barred Oduah and the directors of the four companies from making any withdrawal from their bank accounts pending the determination of a debt recovery suit filed against them by Sterling Bank Plc.

 The bank, in an affidavit deposed to by one of its managers, Mr. Segun Akinsanya, averred that the debt stemmed from a loan of  $10,069,620.25 granted Sea Petroleum and Gas Company on October 8, 2012, to finance one unit 5,000MT tanker vessel.

 Adesanya further averred that the company also obtained other loans of $449,600.00, $642,954.00 and $350,000.

He said the bank resorted to filing the suit following the alleged refusal of the oil company to liquidate the loans, which, he said, stood at $16,412,819.06 and N100,493,225.59 as of November 2016.

 Counsel for the bank, Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN), on Wednesday obtained an order to serve court processes on the defendants by substituted means by advertising same in the newspaper.

 Justice Anka adjourned till March 20, 2017 to take the preliminary objection filed by Oduah’s companies in opposition to the suit.

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