The court further barred all the banks from cooperating with the financial aides of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu pending the determination of the motion on notice.
A Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, Nigeria's capital territory, has ordered the freezing of all the monies of the Abia State government domiciled in about 27 commercial banks.
Justice Bello Kawu gave the order while ruling on a motion ex parte motion Marked No: M/6686/2023 filed by Mr Uche Eni against the Accountant-General of Abia State and the Commissioner for Finance.
In ruling on the motion, the court further barred all the banks from cooperating with the financial aides of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Commercial banks listed as Respondents include: Access Bank Plc, Eco Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), Accountant General of the Federation and 21 other financial institutions.
The court also granted reliefs sought by the claimant’s lawyer, Johnmary C. Jideobi, among which are:
“An order of this Honourable Court freezing forthwith all the monies belonging to the people and Government of Abia State of Nigeria or controlled by the Defendants and domiciled in any Bank (whatsoever named) operating within Nigeria or domiciled with or in the hands of the 1st to 28th Respondents PENDING the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed herein.
“An order of this honourable court restraining the 1st to 28th Respondents from co-operating with the 1st and 2nd Defendants or any authority and person purporting to be acting on behalf of or in the name of the Government of Abia State of Nigeria (howsoever named or described) in accessing any funds held by the 1st to 28th Respondents for the benefit of the people and Government of Abia State of Nigeria PENDING the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed herein.
“An order of court granting the Claimant/ Applicant leave to effect a substituted service of all the originating processes in this suit, inclusive of the ex-parte Order of this Court, on the 1st and 2 Defendants at the Abia State Liaison Office, Abia House, Abuja, through any registered post or courier service operating within the Jurisdiction of this honourable Court and for same to be deemed as proper services.
“An order restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants forthwith from Interfering with dealing with, withdrawing or accessing in whatever manner, monies in the hand of the 1 to 28th Respondents belonging to the Government and people of Abia State pending the hearing and disposal of the Motion on Notice filed herein.
“An interim order of this Honourable Court restraining all the Respondents and their privies, whether severally or individually, from extending any loan facility howsoever called or described) to the Government of Abia State pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed herein.”
Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the matter to April 5, 2023 for hearing on Motion on Notice.