Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered Stanbic IBTC Plc to pay N5.5billion into an interest-yielding account in United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in the name of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court.
The Judge said the money should remain in the account pending the outcome of an appeal filed by Stanbic IBTC while ruling on the bank’s application for stay of execution of a judgment delivered last December 14 in a suit brought by Longterm Global Capital Limited, Lakeside Mews Ltd, Mr. Patrick Akinkuotu and Mrs. Oluyinka Akinkuotu.
The plaintiffs had sued Stanbic IBTC and Starcomms Plc, and sought a declaration that their acquisition of 100,000,000 units of Starcomms shares was improper.
They claimed there was a deliberate misrepresentation by the defendants in respect of a private placement exercise carried out by Starcomms in 2008.
The plaintiffs sought, among others, an order directing the defendants to refund the N1.3billion they paid for the shares, plus interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum from May 5, 2008 until judgment, and thereafter, at the rate of 10 per cent per annum until final liquidation.
Justice John Tsoho, who adjudicated over the case before he was transferred, upheld the plaintiffs’ claims.
But, Stanbic IBTC prayed the court to stay execution of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of its appeal.
The bank said if the judgment was executed, it would render its appeal nugatory and foist a fait accompli on the Court of Appeal.
But the plaintiffs, through their lawyer Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), opposed the application, arguing that it was a bid to deprive them of the fruit of the judgment.
Ruling yesterday, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola directed Stanbic IBTC and Starcomms to pay N5,507,570,850.12 as at September 26 into the UBA account within 14 days of her order.
The sum, it was learnt, will amount to N5,528,675,516.39 by October 10 when the 14 days will be due.
The judge said if the appeal succeeds, Stanbic IBTC would have the funds backs, but if it fails, the plaintiffs (judgement-creditors) could then have their money.