Supreme Court Adjourns Ruling in Petro Union Fraud Case


The Supreme Court yesterday reserved ruling to a date to be advised in the Petro Union fraud case. 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 of the monumental fraud. Predictably, the application was opposed by Petro Union but supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Minister of Finance and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Before arguments were taken, the court stoutly resisted the attempt by Petro Union’s former lawyer, Onyechi Egwuonwu to reopen the controversy surrounding the actual lawyer of Petro Union in the case.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, leading 3 other lawyers for Union Bank moved the application and adopted the processes filed by his client. He urged the court to grant the application on several grounds and mentioned that the judgment of the lower court for £2.556bn was obtained by fraud and suppression of relevant facts. Mrs. Olabisi Soyebo, SAN for the CBN indicated that the CBN was firmly in support of the application which she urged the court to grant and in the interest of justice as the decision which the Applicant seeks to challenge is a colossal embarrassment to the nation and given the colossal amount involved. Mr. T. A. Ghazali, SAN also stated that the Federal Government is in support of the application which amounts to a fraud on the nation and in the interest of justice.
Chief J.K. Gadzama SAN argued that the application ought not to be granted because the court had become functus officio in the matter.
After hearing all the arguments, the Court reserved its ruling on the application to a date to be communicated to parties