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FIRST BANK MD, BISI ONASANYA FACES JAIL TERM OVER MULTIBILLION NAIRA CONTRACT

Bisi Onasanya

First Bank Plc boss, Mr. Bisi Onasanya may be on his way to jail if the Lagos High Court grants the wishes of Access Bank Plc. In the past few years, Access Bank Plc has initiated contempt proceedings against the Managing Director and the Legal Adviser of First Bank of Nigeria Plc for allegedly flouting an order of court over Tejuosho Ultra-Modern Market Phase 1, Yaba, Lagos.

Access Bank, which filed the contempt charged before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, asked the court to commit the First Bank’s managing director and legal adviser to prison.

The Lagos State Government had made a concession arrangement of the Phase 1 of the Tejuosho Market with the developer, Stormberg Engineering Company Limited, and its owner, Mr. Dolapo Atinmo.

Stomberg Engineering Company and Atinmo, in turn, allegedly entered into separate agreements over the property with Access Bank and First Bank. In their bid to recover their money, both banks had filed separate suits against Stomberg Engineering and Atinmo.

But Justice Abang in the suit filed before him by Access Bank, made an order appointing the bank’s (Access Bank) Counsel, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), as the receiver/manager of the market.

Ogunba has now initiated contempt proceedings against First Bank officials, alleging that the officials flouted the court’s order of April 30, 2012, by obstructing him as the receiver over the property.

He commenced the contempt proceedings by serving separate Forms 48 dated February 13, 2014 and Forms 49 dated March 4, 2014 on each of the First Bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Stephen Olabisi Onasanya and its Legal Adviser.

Ogunba urged the court to commit the First Bank’s MD and its Legal Adviser to prison for their “continuous disobedience to the court’s order,” which according to him, constitutes “an affront to the integrity and majesty of this honourable court and hereby undermines the due administration of justice.”

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