Bank Chief Drags IGP, Others To Court


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, South West Nigeria, has adjourned for further  hearing, an enforcement of fundamental right suit to forestall arrest filed by  Afribank Plc, its chairman and managing director, Osa Osunde and Nebohsa Arah  respectively, against the Inspector General of Police and Attorney General of the  Federation.

Other defendants in the ensuing legal warfare are African Petroleum (AP) and its  chairman, Mr. Femi Otedola, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, the  Divisional Police Officer, Lion Building Police Division and the Commissioner of  Police in charge of General Police Monitoring Unit.

According to an affidavit sworn to by the company secretary of Afribank, Umar  Danumma, by virtue of the bank and its subsidiary, Asset Management Nominees, who is  also a claimant in this suit, owing 16.3 per cent of African Petroleum shares before  the sale of the company to Zenon Oil, wherein Mr. Femi Otedola became the chairman  and chief executive, Asset Management Nominees gained the right to appoint Osa  Osunde and Nebohsa Arah into the Board of African Petroleum.

However, on 5 July, 2010, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Otedola falsely informed  the Inspector General of Police and other police formations that Nebohsa Arah and  Osa Osunde attempted to murder him in the elevation. The matter was reported at Lion  Building Police Station and later, Zone 2 Police Command, that the suspicion arose  because at some previous meetings, Afribank, through its directors, was asking him  to account for about N24 billion of the African Petroleum shares.

The lift operators, CFAO, was invited by the police to explain why the lift  malfunctioned on the day Otedola was trapped in.

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Consequently, the deponent averred further that the Inspector General of Police had  instructed his men to arrest Nebohsa Arah and Osa Osunde and charge them for  attempted murder and denied bail as they were accused of being the brain behind the  malfunction of the lift on the date of the incident.

Umma further stated that both Osunde and Arah have been invited by the police to  make statements and therefore urged the court to restrain the defendants from  harassing, molesting or interfering in their daily routine as well as restraining  Mr. Otedola and his agents from hindering the investigation on the state of Afribank  shares and cooperative governance in the structure of African Petroleum.

The presiding judge, Okon Abang, has ordered the two parties to maintain the status  quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

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