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Multibillion debt dispute: Court adjourns hearing till December

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Wednesday adjourned till December 11 further hearing of a suit between Anchorage Leisures Ltd and two others and…

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Wednesday adjourned till December 11 further hearing of a suit between Anchorage Leisures Ltd and two others and Ecobank Nigeria Ltd concerning a disputed multibillion naira debt owed the bank.

The suit, marked FHC/L/CS/352/2023 resumed before Justice Yelim Bogoro, after the last hearing in July, 2023.

Bode Olanipekun SAN, led a team on behalf of the Plaintiffs/1st – 3rd Defendants to the Counter-Claim.

Mr Kunle Ogunba, SAN led the team for the Defendant/Counter-Claimant.

Ade Adedeji SAN, led a team on behalf of the 4th Defendant to the Counter-Claim.

Abimbola Akeredolu SAN led the team on behalf of the 5th Defendant to the Counter-Claim

Professor Taiwo Osipitan SAN led a team on behalf of the 6th Defendant to the Counter-Claim.

Following the commencement of the day’s proceedings, Olanipekun informed the court that there were a number of applications before the court, and they had a motion for amendment of their originating processes filed on 23rd October, 2023.

But Ogunba informed the court that as at the last adjournment, the application pending before the court was his application for summary judgment against the Plaintiffs, based on the claims and admission of facts by the Plaintiffs; and that the application was ripe for hearing.

He also noted that the Plaintiffs’ application for amendment was not ripe for hearing as same was merely filed two days earlier.

He contended that the Plaintiffs had ample time to file the said application, but didn’t do so, only to file same on 23rd October, to – in his view – forestall the proceedings for the day.

Nevertheless, he offered that if the court was inclined to hear the said application, that he would respond on point of law, and the court should entertain both the application for amendment and his motion for summary judgment.

Ogunba argued further that the essence of the amendment being sought by Olanipekun was to overreach his application for judgment as the Plaintiffs -in his view – now wanted to change their case via the amendment.

Counsel to the 4th and 5th Defendants to the Counter-Claim informed the court they had filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection to the Counter-Claim and prayed the court to hear their objections first.

After series of arguments/submissions of respective counsel on the priority of application, the court directed that it would want to hear the application for amendment and rule on same first, before proceeding to hear other applications in the matter

While Olanipekun had prayed the court to specifically adjourn the matter for hearing of his motion to amend, Ogunba SAN had urged the court to adjourn the matter for hearing of both the motion to amend and the motion for judgment, adding that the court can, on the said date, hear the two applications but would first resolve that for amendment.

Consequently, Justice Bogoro adjourned further to 11th December, 2023 for hearing.

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