Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the case between Union Bank Plc and Petro Union Oil and Gas Company Limited over £2.556 billion judgment debt.
The apex court’s panel of justices led by Justice Dattijo-Muhammad heard the application by Union Bank seeking leave to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal and for extension of time to appeal as well as to adduce additional evidence in the appeal.
The application was however opposed by Petro Union through its counsel, Chief Joe Gadzama (SAN).
Before arguments were taken, the court resisted the attempt by Petro Union’s former lawyer, Onyechi Egwuonwu, to reopen the controversy surrounding the actual lawyer of the company in the case.
The case began in 1994 when Petro Union allegedly procured a cheque from a branch of Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom (UK) with a value of £2.556 billion and presented it at one of Union Bank’s branches in Lagos, with a claim that it had a contract purportedly for the purpose of constructing some refineries and establishing a bank.
Subsequent due diligence investigations by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Union Bank at the time revealed that the cheque/bill or instrument dated 29th December, 1994, for the sum of £2.556 billion drawn in favour of Gladstone Kukoyi & Associates, was confirmed by Barclays Bank to be problematic.
At the hearing of the application by Union Bank, seeking leave to bring additional evidence, Chief Awomolo prayed the court for an order of the apex court granting leave to the applicant to raise and argue issues of jurisdiction and competence of the 1st respondent Petro Union Oil and Gas Company Limited).
He also prayed the court for leave to show that the 1st respondent perpetrated fraud, misrepresented and suppressed facts, all arising from and relating to the judgement of the Court of Appeal in appeal No. CA/A/258/2014 Union Bank PLC vs Petro Union Oil and Gas Company Limited.
He said in the application, ‘’An order of this court granting leave to the applicant to bring before the court as additional record/evidence. A copy of the 1st respondent foreign investor Gazeaft Limited, Barclay’s Bank Plc London cheque No. 010140 dated 29th December, 1994, drawn in favour of Gladstone Kukoyi and Associate for £2,556,000.
‘’A copy of the EFCC bond to produce document signed by Prince Isaac Okpala, CEO of the 1st respondent 19/12/2005 to produce Plc Barclay’s Bank London cheque No. 010140 dated 29th December, 1994, issued by Gazeaft Limited, in favour of Gladstone Kukoyi and Associate for £2,556,000.’’
On his part, counsel to the 1st respondent, Chief Gadzama, urged the court to dismiss the application.
He told the court that his client is opposing the application factually and legally.