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FIDELITY/DOKPESI SUIT: COURT TO RULE NOV 2

By NBF News
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By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS-A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Monday, adjourned till November 2, 2011 to rule on whether to stay proceedings in the suit by Fidelity Bank Plc against Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of Daar Communications Limited, operators of Africa Independent Television, AIT,  and RayPower FM over an alleged N7billion debt.

Fidelity Bank had initiated a bankruptcy proceedings against Dokpesi for his alleged inability to repay the facility granted Daar Communications in 2009  to part finance its daily operations and to enable it broadcast the FIFA under 17 World Cup hosted by the country.

Trial judge in Justice Mohammed Idris, heard argument by on the objection and the bank's petition together because they did not want to give a ruling on the case purely documentary evidence before the court.

Dokpesi, who denied owing the bank, had appeal and want the court to stay further proceeding in the matter. His counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the court to stay proceedings because his client had appeal the matter.

According to him, the appeal was competent and arguable because it raises serious issues bothering on jurisdiction and competency of the suit.

Fidelity Bank counsel, Dr Joseph Nwobike, SAN, urged the court to refuse the application for stay of proceedings, because it was frivolous and a ploy to delay the case.

Nwobike argued that Dokpesi had not the appeal and that the issues raised in the suit were not challenged.

The bank had claimed in the suit that the facilities were secured by a legal mortgage over a property located at 34, Creek Road, Apapa belonging to Baldok Shipping Limited; all assets debenture on the fixed and floating assets of Daar Communications valued at N21.3 billion and Dokpesi's personal guaranty, though Dokpesi had denied owing  N7bn, contending what he owed was about N3bn.