Admin l Sunday, May 28, 2023
LAGOS, Nigeria – The Court of Appeal Lagos Division has granted an order staying all proceedings, including committal proceeding, before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos in a suit between Excel Exploration and Production Limited and Access Bank & ORS marked FHC/CS/L/371/2021.
The appellate court, Justice Jimi Olukayode Bada presiding, ruled that the order subsists pending the final determination of Appeal No. CA/LAG/CV/973/2021; before it between the same parties.
The Appeal Court made the order on Friday, May 26, 2023 after hearing an April 20, 2023 Motion on Notice filed by the Appellant/Applicant, Excel Exploration and Production Limited, through its counsel Prof. Taiwo Oshipitan (SAN) against the Respondents.
The 1st to third Respondents are Access Bank, Sentinel Exploration and Production Limited and Kunle Ogunba (SAN) being sued as Receiver/Manager of Sentinel Exploration and Production Limited.
The court granted the order as prayed by Oshipitan, based on six grounds, including that the high court delivered a ruling on November 1, 2021. Dissatisfied with the Ruling, Appellant fled a Notice of Appeal dated 11th November, 2021.
The Appellant then filed a Motion on Notice for stay of execution/injunction restraining the Respondents from enforcing the orders contained in the November 1 ruling.
“Notwithstanding the pendency of this Appeal, its entry in the Registry of this Honourable Court and the Motion on Notice for stay of execution of the Ruling of 1st November, 2021, the 1st and 2nd Respondent commenced committal proceedings against officials of the Appellant in the court below purposely to enforce its Order dated November, 2021.
“The Court below has in a Ruling dated 16 March, 2023 set down the committal proceedings for hearing on 30 May, 2023 and also issued summons against the Appellant/alleged contemnors
“The hearing of the contempt proceedings prior to the hearing and determination of this Appeal will jeopardize Appellant/Applicant’s right to fair hearing, overreach and render this appeal before this Honourable Court nugatory
“The enforcement of the orders dated 1st November, 2021 through hearing of the contempt proceedings as scheduled by the Court below will foist a fait accompli on this Honourable Court with respect to this appeal.