FirstBank To Challenge Contempt Of Court Conviction In Court
The legal battle line has been drawn and First Bank of Nigeria Limited is prepared to flex its own muscle.
On Sunday, the bank said in a statement that it will challenge the decision of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court at the Court of Appeal.
The court had on Wednesday last week found the bank guilty of refusal to release 17 billion naira and interests that First Bank allegedly guaranteed to pay Ejama-Ebubu community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State on behalf of Shell Petroleum Development Company.
But according to the bank in a statement issued on Sunday, the motion granted on June 6, 2018 committing its chairman, Ibukun Awosika and Managing Director, Adesola Adedutan is a persistent and unprovoked use of judicial processes to intimidate, harass and threaten its operations.
The bank said the contempt case originally involving Isaac Agbara and Shell Petroleum Development Limited, Shell International Petroleum Limited, and Shell International Exploration and Production BV, involved it because Shell was its customer.
It explained that Shell approached it to issue a bank guarantee to satisfy Shell’s compliance with Justice Buba’s order on August 5, 2010, and it did with a disclaimer.
The statement said the guarantee was concluded, adding, “This guarantee shall be governed by and subject to all the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and shall not be construed to fetter or limit the constitutional rights of parties, including their right of appeal.”
The bank said in 2013, Shell appealed Justice Buba’s decision awarding various monetary claims to it to the Court of Appeal, but the appeal was struck out on the grounds that Shell did not pay sufficient filing fees.
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