The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, yesterday ordered the sale of an Abuja hotel owned by Obat Oil and Petroleum Limited to offset N5 billion debt it owes Ecobank Plc.
The hotel in question, Febson Hotels & Malls, is located at Plot 2425, Herbert Macaulay Way, Abuja.
Ecobank through the application filed on October 18, 2019 sought the court’s authority to sell the hotel to recover the N5billion owed it by Obat Oil.
It claimed that it had reached an agreement with Obat Oil to sell the hotel to offset the company’s N5 billion debt, adding that the agreement was adopted by the High Court of Lagos State as a consent judgment delivered on March 15, 2017.
The bank, through its lawyer, Kunle Ogunba, added that Obat Oil, in a November 16, 2019 letter, informed the bank that it had found a buyer for the hotel and would offset the debt with the proceeds of the sale.
It added that the company reneged on its promise to have the hotel sold and pay the N5bn debt on or before December 31, 2019.
Obat Oil’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, did not deny his client’s N5billion indebtedness but maintained that Ecobank was no longer the creditor because the bank had in a letter dated April 5, 2017, allegedly assigned its rights and interests in the case to a third party, ETI Specialised Finance Company Limited.
He said this implied that only ETI Specialised Finance Company Limited could assert any right over the N5bn judgment.
Delivering judgment yesterday, the judge held that Ecobank had the locus standi (legal right) to enforce the Lagos State High Court judgment.