An Abuja High Court has ordered the seizure of vehicles belonging to senator Andy Uba over N50 million debt owed Oranto Petroleum Limited.
On Tuesday, officials of the execution unit of the court alongside police officers stormed Mr Uba’s residence situated at No. 49 T.Y Danjuma Street, Asokoro, Abuja and seized Jeep vehicles belonging to the senator.
Oranto Petroleum had instituted the suit in 2016 against senator Uba following his refusal to pay back a N50 million friendly interest-free loan he was granted.
What happened in court
During trial, Mr Uba had argued that the said money was a gift and donation from Mr Arthur Eze, the owner of Oranto Petroleum for his political campaign.
G. N. Onovo, Uba’s counsel had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case as the senator resides in Abuja and the said gift was handed to him in Enugu which is outside the jurisdiction of the court.
He argued that there was no resolution of the company authorising the suit. While referring to section 167(d) of the Evidence Act 2011,
Relying on Section 133 (1) and (2) of the Evidence Act 2011, he further argued that the company failed to establish or lead cogent evidence to show that the N50 million given to Senator Uba was, indeed, a loan facility, and not a gift.
Consequently, he urged the court to hold that the failure of the company to produce the said resolution in court meant it would have been “unfavourable “to the person pursuing the case against Uba.
In response, the plaintiff’s lawyer Mrs. Ugochi Ohajekwe, while relying on section 131 (1) of the Evidence Act averred that the onus is on Mr Uba to prove that there was no intention to repay.
On the issue that there was no evidence from the company that it authorised the suit, Ms Ohajekwe argued that there was no law that insists on “front-loading of the resolution to sue.
She, therefore, prayed the court to hold that senator Uba failed to offer real defence to the suit, and that having failed in that regard, the court should enter judgment against him in the sum of N50 million, being a refund of the money he took as loan.
On March 6, 2017, Justice Mbonu Nwenyi of the Aguata Judicial Division Ekwulobia delivered judgement on the case.
The judge held that the defendant had not disclosed any good defence to the suit and in such circumstances, the plaintiff was entitled to the judgment.
The judge said Mr Uba did not deny receiving the friendly interest-free loan from the plaintiff (Mr Arthur). Consequently, the court ruled in favour of the plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff has sufficiently shown that he granted interest-free friendly loan to the defendant which has not been denied and since has not been repaid.
“In the circumstances, I enter judgment for the plaintiff in the sum of N50 million being refund of interest-free loan granted to the defendant by the plaintiff at the request of the defendant,” the judge ruled.
Following the failure of the senator to pay the judgement sum, on May 5, 2022, the plaintiff filed an ex-parte motion seeking the execution of the judgement delivered in 2017.
On June 30, 2022, the FCT high court granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiff in the application.
The court ordered that the judgement sum be recovered from the defendant to an amount assessed by the court in the circumstances of the case.
“Leave is hereby granted the plaintiff/judgment creditor/applicant to register the certificate of judgment of the High Court of Anambra State in the Aguata Judicial Division holden at Ekwulobia and delivered by Hon. (Justice) C.N. Mbonu-Nwenyi on the 6th day of March, 2017 in suit no. AG/94/2016:Oranto Petroleum Ltd Vs Senator Nnamdi Emmanuel Andy Uba as the judgment of this Court.
“An order of this Honourable Court deeming the judgment of the High Court of Anambra State in the Judicial Division holden at Ekwulobia and delivered by Hon. (Justice) C.N. Mbonu-Nwenyi on the 6th day of March, 2017 in suit no. AG/94/2016: Oranto Petroleum Ltd VS Senator Nnamdi Emmanuel Andy Uba as the judgment of this Court is hereby granted.
“An order of the Honourable Court directing the cost of the registration and execution of the judgment to be recoverable from the Defendant/Judgment Debtor/Respondent to an amount assessed by the Court in the circumstances of this case is hereby granted,” the judge ruled.