Paschal Emeka, Abuja

 In its capacity as official liquidator, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has secured a judgment against Jolimair Nigeria Limited and three other debtors who owed the defunct Gulf Bank Plc the sum of N1.4bn.

In a debt recovery suit Number: FHC/L/CS/1328/17 – NDIC (Gulf Bank) vs. Jolimair Nigeria Limited & 3 Others, the NDIC prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for the recovery jointly and severally from the respondents of the total debt sum of N1,494,987,317.44.

The amount was due and payable by Jolimair Nigeria Limited to the Gulf Bank (in-liquidation) as at 16th January, 2006 when the defunct bank’s operating licence was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The amount was in respect of the banking facilities granted by the bank in-liquidation and guaranteed by three other respondents in the suit; Joseph Samir Karkar, Abbas Shour and Patrick Sule Uduka.

When the matter came up for judgment on 31st January, 2020, the presiding Judge, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Buba granted the reliefs sought by the NDIC in respect of the N1.4bn debt. The judge said the respondents failed to tender any documents before the court to prove that their indebtedness to the bank in-liquidation had been settled, adding that people like them were responsible for the failure of the bank.

The court also agreed with the NDIC that the Respondents owed interest on the total debt sum calculated from the 16th January 2006 at the rate of 21 per cent per annum until the whole debt was fully liquidated, in addition to a cost of N500,000.00 awarded against the Respondents.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, in exercise of its power as the liquidator of Gulf Bank (in-liquidation) instituted the debt recovery case against Jolimair Nigeria Limited in 2017, under the Failed Banks Act to recover the outstanding sum of N1,494,987,317.44 owed to the closed bank by the Respondents.

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