Refrigerator repairer lays claim to James Ibori’s $15m disputed fund

A Lagos based refrigerator repairer, Olalekan Bayode, has applied to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to appoint him as a manager of the disputed $15m (N2.6B )  alleged bribery money and to also make him an intervener in the dispute on the ownership of the money.

Mister Bayode, through his lawyer John Olufemi Aina, sought the order of Justice Gabriel Kolawole to make him an intervener in the dispute and to appoint him as a sole agent to be in custody of the money till undisclosed period of time.

He asked Justice Kolawole to make an order compelling the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the money to him for proper management following the dispute on the ownership of the huge fund by the Federal Government and Delta state.

The request was objected to by both counsel to the economic and financial crimes commission and Delta state government.

The Attorney General of Delta state, Charles Ajuyah, informed the court that the applicant failed to show his interest or ownership of the money following the order made by the court on July 24 asking any Nigerian wishing to claim the ownership of the money to do so within 14 days before the order of forfeiture would be made.

The counsel argued that the court order made no provision for manager of the money but for claimant of its ownership.

He submitted that the application of the refrigerator repairer brought much after the expiration of the 14 days order of Justice Kolawole was in bad faith, baseless and a ploy to slow down hearing of the substantive case and asked the court to dismiss the request.

Also objecting to the request, Rotimi Jacobs, who stood for Federal government described the applicant as “a meddlesome interloper who have no interest whatsoever in the subject of the suit”.

Justice Kolawole will rule on November 23 on whether to allow the applicant come into the suit as an intervener and to appoint him as a manager of the money.

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