The FCT High Court Enforcement Unit, on Thursday, August 4, 2022, sealed First Bank’s headquarters in Abuja, a development that left many of the financial institution’s customers stranded.
According to multiple reports, the First Bank’s headquarters was sealed off over the lender’s failure to comply with a garnishee order.
BizWatch Nigeria understands that a garnishee order is a court-approved directive that allows a creditor to redirect a person’s funds to them when they are owed money.
It is as a common way of enforcing a judgment against a debtor to recover borrowed money.
So, to enforce the garnishee order, the court officials who stormed the bank (Coomasie) with towing vans and cranes, also went away with some of its valuables.
Amongst the valuables carted away are – stand-by generators, Hilux vans and air conditioners.
“It is a long story, but it is all about a garnishee order against the bank which it didn’t comply with,” one of the bank’s officials who spoke on a condition of anonymity was quoted as saying.
First Bank’s investors panic
This development may have plunged First Bank’s investors into panic, as the lender’s investors started to engage in sell-offs.
In the course of the week, during which the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), experienced panic, First Bank’s share value dropped by -0.45%, to close Friday’s trading at N10.95 kobo.
With this, investors’ losses represent N1.79 billion after five days of trading last week. Consequently, the bank’s market valuation got knocked down to N393.05 billion, from N394.8 billion.
Meanwhile, First Bank had described the development as “an unlawful enforcement.”