A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the suit of Petro Union Oil and Gas Company Limited’s suit challenging the takeover of Union Bank by Titan Trust Bank Limited.
Petro Union (PU) had in the suit prayed the court to stop Titan Trust from acquiring Union Bank despite the bank holding 89.39% shares of the latter.
Shareholders of the bank in question include Atlas Mara Limited, Union Global Partners and others.
The move for acquisition is said to have been initiated since December last year and was awaiting the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
However, before CBN gives its approval, Petro Union Oil begged the backing of the court to stop the deal, following a lawsuit marked FHC/ABJ/M/104/2012, that dates back to 2012.
In 2021, the company secured judgments against CBN, Union Bank, the minister of finance, as well as the attorney-general of the federation.
It was delivered by the late Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, whose judgement awarded Petro Union Oil a whopping $15 billion, resulting from his debt judgement of £2.556 billion, coupled with an interest of 15% per annum dating back to June 22, 1995.
Interest placed on the debt judgement had continued to rise until Union Bank pays off the amount which Petro Union Oil believes might be affected by the deal between Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank.
Petrol Union Oil had perceived the deal between Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank as an asset acquisition, hence, the company’s move to halt the takeover in June 2021 through the federal high court.
PU had obtained an ex parte from the court to stop the selling of assets in any manner by Union Bank, but the lender appealed the ruling, stating that share sale by a shareholder is different from asset sale by the company.
The court, presided by Justice Daniel Osiagor, ruled in favour of Union Bank on Thursday upon appeal, with the lender also stating that the debt judgement was a pending case between both parties at the Supreme Court.