By; BASHIR BELLO DOLLARS, Abuja
A high court sitting in Maitama district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has granted a garnishee order on Arik Air Ltd in a $2.5m debt suit filed by Atlas Petroleum International Ltd and Prince Eng. Arthur Eze.
The court presided by Justice O. A. Adeniyi on the 6th of February, 2024 in a suit no ID/ADR/160/2015 gave the order on Arik Air Ltd and 18 other judgment debtors.
The 18 judgment debtors include; Sterling Bank PLC, Zenith Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC, Keystone Bank PLC, First Bank PLC, Standard Chartered Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC, Jaiz Bank PLC, and Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) PLC.
Others are; First City Monument Bank (FCMB) PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Polaris Bank PLC, Eco Bank PLC, Unity Bank PLC, Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Providus Bank PLC, Fidelity Bank PLC and WEMA Bank.
The judgement creditors have prayed the court to grant them an order of garnishee NISI through the following reliefs:
1. A garnishee order attaching the monies in the custody of the 1st to 4th Garnishee belonging to the Judgment Debtor in its accounts tagged “Collections and operations” or any other accounts belonging to the Judgment debtor to satisfy the judgment sum of $ 2.5 million (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) Only, pursuant to the Judgment of 26th February, 2016, entered for the Judgment Creditor/Applicants against the Judgment Debtor which was registered by this Honourable court in 2023.
2. An order of garnishee NISI attaching the monies in the custody of all the garnishees traceable to the Judgment Debtor to satisfy the judgment sum of $ 2.5 million (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United states Dollars) only, pursuant to Judgment entered for the Judgment Creditor/Applicants against the Judgment Debtor which has been registered by this Honourable court in 2023.
3. An order directing the Garnishees to within 48 hours of service of the Garnishee order nisi on them, prepare and file before this Honourable Court STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNT for the last three (3) months showing the Judgment Debtor financial status with the Garnishees till date.
4. An order of garnishee NISI directing Garnishees to appear before the Court on a date to be fixed by the Court to show cause why a Garnishee Order Absolute should not be made against them for the payment over to the Judgment Creditor of the amount aforesaid due to the Judgment credit from the money due to the Judgment Debtor.
5. An order directing the Garnishee to serve their respective affidavit to show cause and the Statement of accounts of the Judgment debtor on the Counsel to Judgment Creditor/Applicant Oil and Partners at their address known as Plot 103, Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja.
6. An order directing the attachment of all movable properties of the judgment debtor found within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court namely the aircrafts, aircraft hangars and so on ad infinitum in event that the judgment sum is not satisfied, including but not limited to the Judgment Debtor’s aircrafts with registration numbers B737- 700/5N-MJF, B737-800/5N-MJQ, DASH8-Q400 and 5N-BKX.
7. An order awarding the sum of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) only being cost of this garnishee proceedings and for such further or other orders as the court may deem fit within the circumstances.
After the presentation of the judgment creditors prayers, through their counsel A. I Malik Esq, the court granted Garnishee order nisi in the manner as set out in reliefs (1) (2) (3) (4) and (5) respectively.
The court also directed judgment debtors 1 – 18 to prepare and file to the court accurate statements of account of the judgement debtor domiciled within them within 48 hours of service.
Arik Air was founded by Mr Arumemi Johnson. The airline was taken over by AMCON in 2017 after the carrier’s management failed to honour its debt obligation running into several billions of Naira to the bad debt manager. AMCON had taken over debts from local banks owed by Arik.