A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Stanbic IBTC Plc to, within 14 days, pay a debt of N5,507,570,850.12 to one Longterm Global Capital Limited and three others.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola, who made the order on Monday, directed Stanbic IBTC to move the fund into an interest-yielding account in United Bank for Africa in favour of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The judge made the order after rejecting an application by Stanbic IBTC seeking a stay of execution of the judgment, which was given against it by Justice John Tsoho on December 14, 2015.
Longterm Global Capital Limited, Lakeside Mews Limited, Patrick Akinkuotu and Oluyinka Akinkuotu had sued Stanbic IBTC and Starcomms Plc before Justice Tsoho, claiming that the defendants were indebted to them to the tune of N1.3bn.
The plaintiffs had, through their lawyer, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), prayed the court to hold that the one million units of Starcomms shares sold to them in 2008 through Stanbic IBTC were invalid, null and void.
The plaintiffs prayed the court to order the defendants to make a refund of N1.3bn to them.
In his judgment on December 14, 2015, Justice Tsoho, who presided over the case, upheld the plaintiffs’ prayers and ordered Stanbic IBTC and Starcomms to make a refund of N1.3bn to Longtem Global Capital Limited.
The court ordered the defendants to pay the sum with an annual interest of 18 per cent from May 5, 2008 to the judgment day and 10 per cent annual interest from the judgment day till the final liquidation of the debt.
Displeased with the judgment, however, Stanbic, through its lawyer, Dr. K.U.K. Ekweme, approached the Court of Appeal, seeking to overturn the judgment.
The bank also filed an application for a stay of execution of the judgment pending the decision of the appellate court.
In her judgment on Monday, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola upheld Fagbohungbe’s argument and ordered Stanbic IBTC to pay the judgment sum within 14 days.
The judge upheld Fagbohungbe’s contention that “it will be unjust and inequitable to allow the 1st defendant to keep the judgment sum in its custody because of its appeal.”