Home Business Trial begins in N42m case between Bank, firm’s directors

Trial begins in N42m case between Bank, firm’s directors


Trial has begun in the case filed by First Bank of Nigeria against a local firm, Read Agricultural Manufacturing Industry Limited (in receivership), and its directors, Mr. Remi Alabi and Mrs Ngozi Nwauma-Alabi over contested N42 million debt.

The case, marked FHC/IB/CS/104/2018, was stalled on February 8, 2022 due to inability of the claimant’s counsel to obtain the Certified True Copy (CTC) of an earlier judgment of the high court of Oyo state directly from the Court Registrar.

The case is before Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court Ibadan, Oyo State. At the trial, both parties relying on Evidence Act 2011 argued on the relevance or otherwise of the documents presented.

Eventually, the trial judge accepted the documents from First Bank’s counsel, Mr. Justice Atose. Atose also presented his witness, Babatunde Aforiwo, the Business Manager, Apata branch of the bank.

Chief Richard Ogunwole (SAN), who is the counsel to defendants and plaintiff’s counter-claimant, Read Agricultural Manufacturing Industry Limited (in receivership), will cross-examine Aforiwo, present his own witness and documents at the next adjourned date, which are March 28 and 29, 2022.

Speaking with journalists after the proceedings, Chief Ogunwole (SAN), explained: “They have opened their case. They have only one witness. They have also adopted their written statement on oath. They are tendering mortgage documents from the land and other letters.

“They also wanted to tender the written statement on oath used in the Federal High Court and other matters. We opposed it and the court overruled them.

“But due to the pressure on the court to hear other matters – there are so many cases before the judge, we agreed to adjourn.

“I am very much happy with the stage the matter is now. To us, nothing tangible has happened. Most of the documents they tendered, we are going to use them against them.

“When they finish with their case, we will cross examine the witness and call our witness. We have only one witness and so many documents.”

On his part, counsel to First Bank, Mr. Atose, said: “Basically, the trial has commenced. The plaintiff opened his case today and tendered documents concerning his case.

“When we finish our own, the defendant would have the opportunity to cross examine our witness. The defendant can now open his case. Then, we can now have the opportunity to cross-examine their witness.

“I have brought and tendered the document we want to rely on. The Chief Judge of Oyo State sorted that issue out for us. He recalled the file and we were able to access the file.”

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