A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an ex-parte order freezing the bank accounts of Bryant Orjiako, ex-chairman and co-founder of Seplat Energy Plc, over his alleged indebtedness to Access Bank Plc.
Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, in his judgement on July 28, in a motion ex parte suit marked FHC/L/BK/08/2023, filed by Access Bank, restrained Orjiako, his agents, privies or any other person or group of persons whatsoever, “from operating, withdrawing from or tampering with his funds in any bank and/or financial institution within Nigeria”, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
The judge also restrained Orjiakor’s former employers and his other investment vehicles from having anything to do with Orjiako financially until his indebtedness is cleared.
Twelve companies were joined as respondents in the suit. They include Seplat Energy Plc, Helko Nigeria Limited, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited, Zebbra Energy Limited, and Ordrec Group Limited.
Others are Helko Marine Services Limited, Berwick Nigeria Limited, Abbeycourt Petroleum Company Limited, Abbeycourt Energy Services Limited, Abbeycourt Company Limited, and Pursley Resources Limited.
The court further made a consequential order compelling all banks and financial institutions harbouring Orjiako’s account(s) to depose to oath stating the amount standing credit of the debtor in their custody within seven days of being served with a copy of the court order.
The court also restrained the respondents from “dealing with shares, investments, bonds, assets, funds howsoever described, belonging to the debtor in their custody or the custody of any bank/financial institution pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice for the appointment of a special manager filed”.
The court also ordered Orjiako and his agents or privies, including the other respondents, from not moving “his funds, investments, bonds, shares, pecuniary and other beneficial interests in all banks, financial institution and/or company in Nigeria principally in Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited, Allenne Limited” out of the court’s jurisdiction.
The court also authorised Access Bank “to take over and preserve all the assets of the debtor, whether same may be found, specifically the following properties belonging to the debtor be it directly or via proxy”.