The PHCN workers asked the court to set aside the order directing the sealing of the property. Five employees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, on Friday challenged their ejection from a PHCN property allegedly acquired by Cecelia Ibru and forfeited to the Federal Government.
Afolabi Dada, Charles Amadi, Lawan Muhammad, Anthony Abikoye and Comfort Odili-Iwuafor filed an application before a Federal High Court in Lagos. The said property is located at No. 5A George Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. The respondents are Ms. Ibru, a former Managing Director the Oceanic Bank; and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.
The AMCON is said to have obtained a court order to seal the property. The PHCN workers are contending that the property was at all times the property of PHCN and that Ms. Ibru had no right to forfeit same to the Federal Government. The applicants are also seeking an order to stop further actions on their ejection on the grounds that there was a pending suit on the property ownership.
The employees are, therefore, seeking an order to stop their ejection until determination of the substantive suit. Counsel to the employees, Femi Falana, told the court that AMCON fraudulently obtained a court order which granted leave for the sealing of the property.
He submitted that AMCON obtained the order in spite of the pending suit on the ownership of the property. Mr. Falana told the court that when a forfeiture order was made by Justice Daniel Abutu of the Federal High Court in 2010 for relinquishing of the property to AMCON, the employees filed a suit seeking to set aside the order. The counsel prayed the court to set aside the order directing the sealing of the property.
Responding, counsel to AMCON, Felix Azu, submitted that when the forfeiture order was made, the employees neither appealed against it nor applied for a stay of the execution of the order.
Mr. Azu said that the workers’ inaction meant that they had no intention to challenge the order. He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application for lack of merit. Justice Okechukwu Okeke adjourned the case to March 25 for ruling on the application.