The Bayelsa state Commissioner of Police in a motion ex parte prayed the court to freeze the Dilly Motors accounts in two commercial Nigerian banks listed as second and third respondents in the suit, owned by flamboyant businessman Okwudili “Cowboy” “Dilly” Umenyiora.
The motion prayed the Court to make an order freezing the account pending the conclusion of the police criminal investigation.
Granting the request, the presiding Judge, Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro, made an order freezing the accounts for 14 days to be renewed following a fresh application by the police.
He also made an order compelling the banks to furnish the police with detailed statement of accounts of the first respondent.
Findings indicated that the investigation became incumbent following a petition alleging fraud, criminal conversion and conduct likely to breach public peace written against Dilly Motors Limited and its founder, Okwudili Umenyiora by Solalina Mass Transport LTD.
The petition, which was written by Charles Iroh, Head of Chambers, Triax Solicitors, said in 2019, Umenyiora, the Managing Director of Dilly Motors Limited, approached his client to facilitate vehicle supplies to the Bayelsa State government.
The petition read: “It was agreed that our client should use its wealth of expertise in the transportation industry and contacts to facilitate the contract in favour of Dilly Motors Limited.
“Our client being an indigenous company with core focus on haulage, charter and transportation service, supply chain management, specialist vehicles and expert drivers, specialist on-board kit and equipment and other transport services, was contracted as a facilitator to Dilly Motors Limited by virtue of a Vehicle Procurement/Facilitation Agreement dated the 17th day of February 2020 with clear terms and conditions.
“That through our client’s dedication and expertise, On the 5th of March 2020, the said Dilly Motors Limited got the job. Sequel to this, the company through its Managing Director, Okwudili Umenyiora, told our client that the contract value for the vehicle supply was in the sum of Two Billion, Three Hundred and Five Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Four Thousand Naira (N2, 305, 234, 000) only.
Iroh averred that the contractor has refused to pay the commission to his client despite receiving almost full payment from the state government and rather resorting to fraudulent tactics, threat and blackmail.
Investigation revealed prior to the criminal investigation by the police, Solalina had filed a civil action with suit number YHC/108/2020 in the High court sitting in Yenagoa and presided by Justice T Cocodia for breach of contract.
All parties in the civil matter had been served and the case scheduled for hearing on July 21, 2020.In the suit, Solalina is seeking to enforce its rights in a finder’s fee, facilitation agreement entered into with Dilly Motors for the supply of vehicles to the Bayelsa State Government.