The Chief Executive Officer of Dansa Foods Limited and Bulk Pack Services Limited and younger brother to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Sani Dangote, has approached the Lagos Division of the Appeal Court, asking for an order to change the judge that ordered the freezing of his bank accounts in 20 commercial banks in Nigeria.
In the appeal filed pursuant to Order 6 Rule 2 Court of Appeal Rules, 2011, Dangote, through his lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), also prayed the appellate court to set aside the order given by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos freezing his accounts in the 20 banks.
Tarfa, in the Notice of Appeal, argued that the trial judge, Abang erred in law by granting the freezing order, saying that there was no material placed before the court to warrant granting such an order.
He also said that Abang acted in excess of the court’s jurisdiction and his judicial powers when he made the freezing order.
He, therefore, prayed the appeal court to order the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the case to another judge.
At the Tuesday proceeding, Tarfa also brought an application on behalf of his clients challenging the leave of the vacation court granted to Union Bank to hear the case.
In the application, Tarfa argued that the order for leave was made under misrepresentation of facts by the bank and that the consent of the defendants were not sought before the order was granted.
The applicant’s counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, in response, however, said that he needed time to respond to the defendants’ application.
Pinheiro insisted that he would take the full advantage of the period prescribed by the rules of court to reply to the defendants’ application.
After entertaining arguments from the both parties, Abang, in his ruling, adjourned till September 22, 2014 to hear the defendants’ application.
Abang had on September 4 given an order directing 20 commercial banks in Nigeria to shun all forms of funds withdrawal by Sani and his two companies until all applications in a suit brought against Sani and his comapnies by Union Bank Plc were heard.
The court had also ordered all the banks named to declare Dangote’s statement of account in their affidavits.
The banks named were Access, CITI, Diamond, Ecobank, Enterprise, Fidelity, Keystone, Mainstreet, Skye, Wema, Heritage, Sterling, Unity and Zenith Banks.
Others are First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank for Africa.