Court Awards Cost Against Access Bank Plc and Trebesak Limited for Failing To Appear In Court

At the resumed hearing of the case in LD/16120MFHR/2023 between A4 Realty Limited v Access Bank Plc and five others on Tuesday 30th January 2024, Justice G.A. Safari of the High Court of Lagos State sitting at the Eti-Osa Judicial Division, ordered costs of N200,000 each against Access Bank Plc, the 1st Respondent in the matter as well as Trebesak Limited, the 6th Respondent in favour of the Applicant and the 4th Respondent Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for failing to appear on a date the court fixed for hearing.

The suit which was initiated by A4 Realty Ltd against Access Bank and others to protect and preserve its right to a property situated at Ojomo Chieftaincy Layout in Eti-Osa, which it purchased from Access Bank Plc in August 2021 was commenced by an Originating Application in October 2023 was set down to be heard on Tuesday 30th January 2024. However on the said date, upon taking attendance of Applicant and 4th Respondent’s Counsel; Gbenga Ajala with Ife Omonijo and Fanen Anem with N. C. Mutfwang respectively, the presiding judge drew attention of Counsel to a letter seeking adjournment written by the 1st Applicant Access Bank PLC’s Counsel.

Both Ajala and Fanen opposed the application as they were never served and in their respective oral applications urged the court to award cost against the said Counsel and his counterpart for Trebesak Nigeria Limited for truncating the business of the day by their absence.

In his bench ruling, Justice Safari agreed that Counsel to Access Bank Plc ought to have written to his colleagues as well as substantiating the basis for his application with proof. He also noted that the Trebesak Nigeria Limited neither wrote nor appeared in court. Consequently, having both failed to be present on a date fixed for hearing were ordered to pay both the A4 Realty Limited and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission the sum of #100,000 each before the next date.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to the 7th day of March 2024 for hearing of pending applications.