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We are not owing FirstBank —Lister Oil

THE Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, will, on Thursday, resume hearing in a suit brought by Lister Oil, challenging the decision by FirstBank Plc to take over its farm tank, over debt owed by a sister firm, Lister Flour Mills Limited.

Justice Saliu Saidu, in one of the suits between the two companies, is asked by Lister Oil to declare unlawful, FirstBank’s management and control of its farm tank, for which the bank had appointed a receiver.

The bank’s move was predicated on a contested claim of indebtedness of Lister Flour Mills Limited to the bank.

The tank farm is built on a property at No. 21, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, on lease from Lister Flour Mills Limited.

Lister Oil Limited is challenging the action of the bank, claiming that the company was not in any way indebted to the bank.

It was also the contention of the plaintiff that Lister Flour Mills Limited and Lister Oil Limited are two different entities and neither has Lister Oil Limited nor any accredited member of its management consented to take over the liability of Lister Flour Mills, contrary to the claim by the bank, on which it predicated its actions against Lister Oil Limited.

FirstBank Limited had, sometime in 2014, granted a credit facility to Lister Flours Limited, guaranteed by the chairman of Lister Group of Companies, the late Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, using the property described as No. 21, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, owned by Lister Flour Mills Limited, as collateral.

After the death of Alhaji Arisekola Alao, the bank reportedly claimed that Lister Flour Mills Limited had defaulted in the payment of the loan put at N6,189,280,000.

In the bid to enforce the repayment of the loan and also claiming that Lister Oil Limited also guaranteed it, FirstBank Limited, sequel to an ex parte order granted by the Federal High Court, appointed Kemi Balogun as receiver over the property of Lister Flour Mills Limited.