A Lagos State High Court in Ikoyi’s Osborne area has ordered all commercial banks in the country to stop releasing funds totaling N11.795 billion to a Nigerian couple, Bamise and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, who are accused of defrauding investors out of almost N22 billion.
The court also issued an order barring the couple and their affiliated firms, Imagine Global Holding Company Limited and Imagine Global Solutions Limited, from accessing funds totaling N11,795,090,000 in their accounts until the matter against them is heard and decided.
Following an ex parte application submitted on October 15 by the applicants through their lawyer, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi, Justice Toyin Oyekan-Abdullai granted an order of mareva injunction freezing the assets.
A mareva injunction, also known as a freezing or asset protection order, is a court order that prohibits a defendant from dealing with, moving, or disposing of assets while legal proceedings are pending.
The applicants are aggrieved Nigerians who invested extensively in Imagine Global, and the N11,795 billion represents the outstanding investments and return on investments due to them from the defendants, according to court documents.
The defendants were also barred from selling, transferring, assigning, or dealing with the following properties: Apartment 7, Oakwood Residences; 23, Cooper Street, Ikoyi, Lagos; B4, Gate 3, Lafiaji Road, Victoria Crescent Estate; Olugborogon; Chevron; Lekki; Lagos, or any other properties in the names of the first, second, third, or fourth defendants, or that can be traced and located by applicants during the pendency of the suit.
The judge ordered the banks to file and deliver an affidavit indicating the balance in the defendants’ accounts on the applicants’ counsel within seven days.
The applicants, on their part, are to file an undertaking as to damage in case the order ought not to have been made by the court.
Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi, thereafter, adjourned the case till November 3.
The banks affected include Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, Citi Bank Nigeria, Ecobank Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, First City Monument Bank, and Globus Bank.
Others are Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank, Providus Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, United Bank For Africa, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, and Zenith Bank.