The First bank main office in Port Harcourt was on Tuesday sealed due it’s failure to pay the sum of N1,772,460,585.00 billion, following a supreme court judgement in favour of Ejamah community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers.
Mr Emmanuel Asido, one of the counsel to the judgement creditors in a case against Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) by the Ejamah community, spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt and stated that the case had been in court for over twenty years before the judgement.
Asido said that First Bank office was sealed after several court judgements in favour of Ejamah community against SPDC, and because the bank failed to live up to its guarantee given on Dec. 17, 2012 to pay the said sum and accrued interest thereon, if they lost the case.
According to Asido, SPDC appealed the Federal High Court judgement at the Appeal Court in suit no CA/PH/396/2012 and sought the leave of the Court of Appeal to furnish the judgement creditors, (Ejamah community) with a bank guarantee which they obtained from First Bank and which was signed by the Managing Director and the company Secretary/Legal Adviser.
“On June, 6, 2017 judgement was given against SPDC when their appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, whereupon SPDC went on to appeal at the Supreme Court in suit no SC/731/2017 which was equally dismissed on January 11, 2019.
“SPDC filed another application to review the supreme court judgement and their application was dismissed by the apex court on November 27, 2020.
Asido claimed that the First Bank management was indolent because it was aware of the several court judgements against them already.
His Royal Highness, George Osarobo Osaro, the king representing the Ejamah Ebubu Community in Eleme, called on First Bank to obey the supreme court judgement to pay the sum of N1,772,460,585.00 billion and accrued interest as guaranteed by the company on behalf of SPDC.
Osaro stated that after several court judgements by the Federal High court in favour of Ejamah community, First Bank had the obligation to pay up.
Efforts to speak to the branch Manager or the Public relations officer of the bank proved abortive except for one of the staff who withheld her name but said that the Manager and all the staff were locked out by the court representatives who were engaged in towing some of the bank’s properties away to the court premises.