Court refuses to remove Zenith bank in suit filed by Pinnacle Comm

The Federal High Court Abuja on Friday, dismissed an application by Zenith bank asking court to remove its name from a suit filed by Pinnacle Communications Ltd (PCL) against Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

PCL had in July 2018, dragged ICPC and Zenith bank to court for unlawfully withholding its money domiciled in Zenith bank without a valid court order.

The company is asking for N1billion damage against the defendants.

Ruling on the preliminary objection brought by Zenith bank, (the second defendant), the judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo dismissed it on the grounds that it was frivolous and a waste of the court’s time.

Justice Taiwo held that the counsel to the commercial bank, Mr Okey Ojukwu ought not to have filed the application since a ruling delivered by a court of the same hierarchy on December. 14, 2018 on the matter was unambiguous.

The judge said that the ruling of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on the issue was an interlocutory injunction and could in no way be interpreted as the final judgment in the suit.

Taiwo further opined that the objection by the bank was filed out of misconception and only amounted to a waste of the court’s precious time.

“The application of the second defendant is an invitation to this court to sit on appeal on the decision of my learned brother Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of Dec.14, 2018.

“This court, with all due respect to the second defendant shall not fall into that error.

“The application is not only incompetent and an abuse of court process, it is one brought without carefully and painstakingly understanding the ruling my learned brother gave on the interlocutory injunction,” the judge said.

The judge warned that such applications should not be brought to court as they only ended up wasting the time of the court.

“This type of application should be discouraged by the court and counsel, and to discourage counsel from filing such frivolous application, the court must come down hard on counsel who filed such applications either on their own or on the instruction of their client.

“I therefore find no merit in this application and it is accordingly dismissed having held that the application is frivolous, time wasting, incompetent and an abuse of court process.

“I shall fail in my duty as a judge if I do not award cost. Therefore, I award N100,000 against the second defendant in favour of the plaintiff,” Justice Taiwo held.

He adjourned the matter until March 5 to continue hearing in the substantive suit.

In the substantive suit, Pinnacle Communications is seeking a declaration that the act of ICPC in ordering Zenith bank to place a “post-no-debit” restriction on its account  without any court order is unlawful and a breach of the plaintiff’s right to its movable property.

“A declaration that the act of Zenith bank in placing a “post-no-debit” restriction on its account  without any court order and or any valid order is unlawful, injurious, unconstitutional and a breach of the plaintiff’s right to its movable property.”(NAN)


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