Despite Owing N150m, Ritman Staff Salaries, Senator Ibokessien Hires SAN To Battle Bank In Court
*SAN may charge up to N50m
The Winding Up Suit filed by Akwa Savings and Loans Limited against Ritman College over debts obtained by its proprietor, Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien, has taken a fresh twist as Assam Assam, SAN, has been contracted by the Defendant (Ibokessien) to replace Barr. C. A. Udoh.
This is even as staff of Ritman College and Ritman Nursery/ Primary School are having a torrid time wrought by unpaid salaries spanning six months.
The bank has been totally grounded courtesy of the Ibokessien debt and backlog of others. Staff of the bank have since downed tools for being owed salaries spanning over 18 months.
The bank puts the actual sum owed by Ibokessien at One Hundred and Fifty Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand, Ninety Two Naira, Seventy Four Kobo (N150,976,092.74k).
Senator Ibokessien via his former Counsel, Barr. C. A. Udoh, had acknowledged the debt.
However, Ibokessien’s present Counsel, Assam Assam, SAN, on October 14, 2019, filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection against the petition, describing it as “incompetent, irregular, premature, scandalous and an abuse of the process of the court.”
Assam argued that the bank’s petition does not comply with the provisions of Section 409(a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
Akwa Savings and Loans Limited is praying the Federal High Court, Uyo Judicial Division, that “Ritman College of Agriculture, Science and Management Studies Limited be wound up by this Honourable Court under the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 and the Companies Winding-Up Rules 2001.”
The bank also prays for “further orders as the Honourable Court may deem just to make in the circumstances.
Meanwhile, judiciary sources have divulged that the services of Assam Assam, SAN, could gulp a whooping N50 million given the humongous legal fees charged by lawyers in the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) category. Checks reveal that a SAN in Nigeria charges as much as N10m just for preparation and filing of briefs. They charge nothing below a Million Naira per appearance in court.