Court Threatens To Jail Defaulting Bank Executives In Case Against Ajetunmobi Couple
A Lagos State High Court sitting at the Osborne area in Ikoyi has threatened to jail executives of banks who fail to disclose the amount to the credit of Imagine Global Holding Company Ltd, Imagine Global Solutions Ltd, and the Nigerian couple, Bamise and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi.
The two firms and the Ajetunmobi couple have been associated with an N11.795bn investment fraud by some aggrieved Nigerian investors who filed the suit before the court.
According to the applicants, the sum of N11.795bn is the outstanding investments and return on investments accruing to them from the defendants.
At the hearing of the case on Wednesday (November 3), Justice Toyin Oyekan-Abdullahi, noted that some banks are yet to comply with the court’s October 20, 2021 order granted in favour of the investors.
The order restrained commercial banks in Nigeria from releasing funds up to N11,795,090,000 to the two firms and the Ajetunmobi Couple who have reportedly fled to Antigua and Barbuda.
The order also commanded the banks to, among other things, file and serve on the applicants counsel within seven days, an affidavit disclosing the balance in the defendants’ accounts.
The order was sequel to a motion exparte filed by 17 applicants on October 15.
Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi expressed displeasure at the conduct of the banks who failed to strictly comply with the court order.
She warned that besides sanctioning any defaulting bank executive, any lawyer that acts contrary to the order of court also risk being sanctioned, because “the court will not allow the citizens of this country to keep weeping because of the absconding investors.”
The court was told that one of those affected by the conduct of the Ajetunmobis and their companies was Wema Bank which allegedly gave a loan to Imagine Global in September, 2021, after accepting the defendants’ properties as collateral.
The bank, as an interested party, subsequently filed an application seeking a discharge of the court order.
The applicants through their lawyers, however, opposed the application on the ground that Wema Bank is equally a victim by virtue of the personal guarantees the defendants executed in favour of the applicants as far back as January 2020.
The applicants alleged that N17Billion had passed through Imagine Global’s account with Wema Bank between May 2020 and May 2021 and the bank is yet to place before the court, the detailed statement of account of the company.
The applicants have also resisted a move by a firm, Mainstreet Capital Ltd seeking to be joined as co-claimant in the suit.
Through the law firm of Babalakin & Co, Mainstreet Capital Ltd, which also invested in the defendants, approached the court.
The original applicants, 17 of them insisted that anyone with grievances against the couple “should go and file their own case.”
The original applicants are Mr Olabode Olanipekun, Mr Segun Animashaun, Mrs Abioye Idris, Mrs Erhi Ojoboh, Mrs Laurel Onumonu and Mr Olanrewaju Aderounmu.
Others are Mr Edet Udo, Mr Chikezie Nwokocha, Dr Onyekachi Onubogu, Mrs Aderonke Salami and Grantiff Investment Ltd.
Shalom Microfinance Bank Ltd, Afrinvest Asset Management Ltd, Global Stonecrest Bureau De Change, Headway Microfinance Bank Ltd, Hollandpark Bureau De Change and Alstom Matrix Ltd also made the list of applicants.
Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi thereafter adjourned till November 11, for the banks to show cause in compliance with the order of court.