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A’court gives FCMB 48 hours to deposit N540m defamation award in favour of Prophet Omale

The court of appeal in Abuja has ordered the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to deposit “in an interest-yielding account” the sum of N540 million awarded to Prophet Emmanuel Omale, his wife, Deborah, and the church for defamation...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Omale is the general overseer of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry.

The money is expected to be paid into a bank account that will be opened by the chief registrar of the court.

In a unanimous decision, the three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Mohammed Shuaibu, directed FCMB to deposit the N540.5 million within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the bank had appealed the judgment of Yusuf Halilu, a judge of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court, asking the court of appeal to set aside the verdict of the lower court on the payment of the sum.

The FCMB also asked the appellate court to stay the execution of the lower court’s judgment and restrain the Omales from taking steps to enforce the judgment in their favour.

After listening to the arguments of the parties, the panel granted the application as prayed in terms of the first prayer in the appellant’s motion, filed on November 3, 2022.

“Consequently, a conditional stay of execution of the judgment is hereby granted to the appellant. The condition being that the judgment sum shall be deposited into an interest-yielding bank account of the Court to be opened by the Chief Registrar of this Court within 48 hours of the grant of this Order,” the ruling reads.

But dissatisfied with the judgment of the FCT high court, the FCMB, through Wale Olawoyin, its lead lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed a notice of appeal dated October 5, 2022, against the final judgment.

In its notice of appeal, the FCMB further argued that it would be highly prejudiced by any step to execute or enforce the final judgment as the action would render nugatory, its appeal before the appellate court.

According to the financial institution, “there is a real and high risk that it would suffer irreparable damage in the event that its application is refused and the appeal is successful.”

Opposing FCMB’s motion for stay of execution of the lower court’s judgment, Goddy Uche and Kanayo Okafor, the lawyers representing the Omales, argued that the bank’s application was brought in utmost bad faith to merely frustrate and delay without any justification.

“That the judgment appellant/applicant’s appeal has little or no chance of success in the light of the admissions and apologies and tacit acceptance of its negligence in this matter,” the plaintiff said.

“That in the alternative, we concede to a conditional stay of execution, for the appellant/applicant to deposit the judgment sum within 48 hours into an interest yielding bank account to be opened by the chief registrar of this honourable court, in any other commercial bank, except the judgment/debtor.”

In 2020, the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) said Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), allegedly used a cleric to launder funds abroad.

Omale’s name was reportedly uncovered during an investigation of the EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

According to the report, the cleric bought a landed property worth N573 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on behalf of Magu.

The cleric, however, denied the allegations.

Reacting to the investigations, Adam Nuru, managing director of FCMB, said the bank made an error of posting N573 million into the church account of Emmanuel Omale.

On October 4, 2022, a federal high court, presided by Justice Yusuf Halilu ordered the FCMB to pay N540.5 million damages to Prophet Omale and his wife, Deborah, over a false claim that they laundered N573 million for Magu..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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