American Seeks to Recover N6.6bn Judgement, 17 Years After Judgment


The Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned a suit by an American, Montia Rice, seeking to relist a suit in which he obtained judgment awarding him N6.6billion.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun adjourned to enable parties determine if the name of United Bank for Africa Plc was struck out as the bank claimed.

The American said he obtained a judgment by former judge of the court, Justice Dan Abutu, on July 28, 2000 awarding him the sum, which Rice claimed he lost to alleged fraudsters over a phantom project.

Justice Abutu entered judgment in favour of Rice after the defendants, Fred Ajudua, Jude Okwudili, Dr Annuni, Sam Opara, Standard Trust Bank, Mamo Feda and Mr Wags Digiteme, failed to respond to the suit.

Rice said before the judgment by Justice Abutu could be enforced, the lawyer representing him in Nigeria, Anthony Okocha, died.

Rice said he also fled the country after his life was threatened.

Rice is praying the court to relist the suit into the general cause list to enable him enforce the judgment and recover his money.

But, Standard Trust Bank (now United Bank for Africa Plc), claimed that Justice Abutu had struck out its name from the action.

The bank said its name should not be listed among defendants in the current bid to relist the suit.

Justice Olatoregun at the last hearing directed parties to have a formal meeting with the court’s legal officers to study the records and determine whether the bank’s name was indeed struck off. She adjourned the matter to April 5.

The suit earlier came up in January 2017   and was adjourned at the instance of the Plaintiff who prayed for an extension of time within which to apply to take further steps in compliance with the judgment, and an order allowing Rice to take the steps towards recovering the sum.

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