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In a bid to recover alleged  debt of N8,701,770,328.83 Ecobank Nigeria limited has dragged a Lagos businessman, Mr. Victor Osibodu and his company Vigeo limited before a Federal high court,in  Lagos south west Nigeria.
In today’s proceedings, Ecobank’s counsel, Mr. Dapo Akinosun SAN, leading Barrister Akintayo Iwilade and four other counsels informed the  presiding judge, Justice Yellin Bogoro that the matter is slated for hearing, adding that the bank has 111 exhibits attached to the process and two witnesses to call.
He further told the court that he had discussed with the defence counsel, Mr. Oyetola Oshobi SAN, on the need to align all the exhibits in order to agree on which of them that will be tender together without objection and those that would be objected to in order to safe the time of the court,Mr.Oshobi SAN aligned himself with Akinosun’s submission.
 Consequently,both counsels asked for adjournment to enable them reconcile the documents, thereafter Justice Bogoro adjourned  till March 17th and 30th of March,22 for trial to commence.
In it’s statement of claim,Ecobank alleged  that by a duly executed offer of Multiple Credit Facility dates April 10, 2007 the bank approved the grant of $15 million and $1,750,000.00  respectively in favour of Vigeo Nigeria limited,for the acquisition of a motor tug boat known as Lady Margret now Vigeo Olufunke from a company in Norway.
The bank stated that by another duly executed offer of Multiple Credit Facility dated April 10, 2007, the bank in three tranches granted to Vigeo the sum of N200 million, N750 million and N350 million respectively for the purpose of working capital and import duty payments with a tenor of 12 months (renewable annually) at the interest rate of 16 % per annum.
According to the bank, the first Vigeo Company secured the facilities,with a lien on shares of blue chips companies estimated at N500 million to be whare-housed with the bank, receipt of irrevocable domiciliation of contract proceeds from majors Oil companies in favour of the bank  and stocks of goods valued at N150 million.
The bank added that in accordance with the security requirement under the credit facility, dated April 10 2007 (Dollar Facility), the  Chairman of Vigeo Company,   Mr. Victor Osibodu executed a personal guarantee and a duly notarized statement of Net worth dated August 16, 2007, the statement of Net worth provides particulars of his personal assets worth N2,002,400,000.00 for the security of the loan sums in the event that he defaults in the repayment of the loan.
According to the bank, in fulfilment of the personal guarantee by Osibodu, the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) by a letter of October 30, 2007 confirmed the placement of lien on 25,083,612 units of GTB shares belonging to Osibodu.
On July 9, 2008 Mr. Osibodu resolved at its Board Meeting to request for an additional facility of US$ 2, 000,000.00 to finance the dry dock maintenance of the vessel.
  Upon consideration of the Defendants request, the Plaintiff made an offer in principle indicating the  terms and conditions of the said offer of $2,000,000.00.
The Security of the $ 2,000, 000 loan includes amongst others an irrevocable domiciliation of Charter   contract proceeds from Knock Allan Pte or their Norminee, the new chatterers of the vessel as well as domiciliation of Charter contract proceeds from SNEPCO.
According to the plaintiff, despite defendant’s loan obligations, the board of his company at a meeting of May 3, 2009 requested for additional facility of $1million for the purpose of completing the life extension programme of the vessel MV Vigeo Olufunke.
Due to the inability of the defendants to meet their repayment obligations, the bank on several occasions restructured the facilities yet they could not meet up with the prepayment terms.
Consequently, by a letter dated June 27, 2014 the bank informed the defendants that it’s account had remained non-performing as Osibodu had failed to meet the agreed term.
However, after several meetings between the bank and the defendants over the indebtedness, Ecobank by a letter dated September 2, 2014 informed Vigeo that its current indebtedness stood at N798,202,164.28; $13,547,854.4 as at June 25, 2013 and additional $4,263.24.
Consequently, Ecobank  is urging  the court to declare that the defendants are indebted to  it in the sum of $16,886,665.04 and N862, 061, 492.63 being the sum outstanding as at 1st of December 2016 with interest accruing at the agreed interest rate.
An order awarding post-judgement on the sum, at the rate of 20% per annum until the final liquidation of the debt.
The bank is also seeking the order of the court for the forfeiture of Vigeo house, 6 Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos valued at N800 million as at August 2007.
An order of forfeiture of 16A Milverton Road, Ikoyi worth N700 million.
“An order granting the Plaintiff ownership, control, disposition and/or lien rights (until and to the extent and purpose of full realization of the sums) in the event that the properties identified are still insufficient to liquidate the Defendants’ debt.
1.”All shares held in any companies by the Defendants within the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2. “Cash at hand or cash held in any Bank and/or financial institutions in Nigeria standing to the credit of the first and second defendants among others and general and exceptional damages in the sum of N100 million.
However, Vigeo in it’s statement of defence stated that Ecobank Transnational Incorporated did not acquire defunct Oceanic Bank International PLC at all, contesting that any purported acquisition is void, illegal and unenforceable in law.
It stated that there was no merger of defunct Oceanic bank with the plaintiff and no valid or legal merger adding that the purported merger is illegal and void in law and did not comply with all requisite statutory requirements and due process of law.
The defendants also stated that Ecobank is not the successor-in-title or successor-in-interest of defunct Oceanic Bank and the rights, assets and liabilities of Oceanic Bank are not vested in Ecobank.
The Defendants shall at the trial of this suit rely on the Report of the Forensic Review of Vigeo Limited Accounts with Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
    Consequently, the Defendants state that they are not indebted to the Plaintiff in the sum of N8,701,770,328.83 (eight billion, seven hundred and one million, seven hundred and seventy thousand three hundred and twenty eight Naira eighty three Kobo) or any sum at all and that the bank is not entitled to any of the reliefs claimed in this suit as same are frivolous, baseless, unmeritorious and should be dismissed with substantial costs

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Zenith Bank Refunds N3.23m To Angry Customer Chiamaka Agim

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A leading Nigerian commercial bank, Zenith Bank has returned N3.23 million to Chiamaka Agim, a Lagos State resident whose N4.039 million was erroneously deducted on January 9.

 

According to reports, Zenith Bank had previously informed Agim that she would only receive N800,500 of the N4,039,900 that had been debited.

 

But on Monday, January 16, in the evening, the bank sent back N3,239,400.

 

Recently, the Zenith Bank client shared a post about the refund on her Twitter page.

 

 

Agim reported that on that Monday, the bank contacted her to provide an update on the refunded money.

 

“After the event, they had to put my account on pause, so I didn’t get any alerts,” the user said. I was told to visit the bank the next day,” she recalled.

 

“They had credited my account with N3,239,400 around 7.30 pm on Monday,” the customer said. “My account statement was printed when I got to the bank.”

 

She claimed to have discovered that Access, one of the two banks to which the funds were transferred, still held the remaining N800,500.

 

Zenith Bank stated that Access Bank is now withholding the funds and that it is not their fault at this time. They said Access Bank stated that the funds would not be released without a court order.

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UBA Appoints Abiola Bawuah CEO,UBA Africa

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The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Africa.

 

According to a statement y the bank, Bawuah will also join the Group Board as an Executive Director, overseeing the Group’s operations across the African continent, outside Nigeria.

 

Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, is the first female CEO of UBA Africa.

 

Prior to her appointment, she was Regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the Group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.

 

Speaking on the new appointment, the Group Board Chairman, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, said, “Abiola has contributed significantly to the growth of UBA Africa for close to a decade. She brings a wealth of experience in commercial banking, and stakeholder engagement. It also gives me great pleasure that with her appointment, the UBA Group Board has now become a majority female board.”

 

The UBA Group also announced other appointments.

 

Chris Ofikulu was appointed the Regional CEO of UBA West Africa.

 

A statement by the bank said Ofikulu has over two decades of banking experience spanning corporate, commercial, and retail banking.

 

Similarly, Uzoechina Molokwu was appointed as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of UBA Ghana, subject to local regulatory approvals. He was previously the Executive Director, Business Development – UBA Côte d’Ivoire and has over 23 years banking experience.

 

Ayokunle Olajubu was also announced as the Managing Director/CEO UBA Liberia, subject to local regulatory approvals. He currently drives compliance across Africa subsidiaries and comes with 30 years banking experience in Nigeria and other African countries, including Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire and the Gambia.

 

Other appointments include that of Theresa Henshaw who was appointed as CEO of UBA UK, subject to local regulatory approvals. She was previously the DMD, Business Development, UBA America and joined the Group as ED, Business Development at UBA UK.

 

Usman Isiaka, currently CEO, UBA Sierra Leone, has also been appointed the Deputy CEO in UBA America, subject to local regulatory approvals.

 

Adeyemi Adeleke, the former CEO of UBA, UK is now the Group Treasurer. Adeleke will be working to unlock the immense value in the Group’s multi-jurisdictional balance sheet, leveraging on its presence in 24 countries within and beyond Africa.

 

In addition to the executive appointments, UBA has announced the retirement of High Chief Samuel Oni, an independent non-executive Director, from the board following the expiration of his tenure. He joined the UBA Group in January 2015 and served on the Board of the Group for eight years.

 

The Group Chairman, Mr Elumelu, expressed his appreciation to High Chief Oni, for his commitment, leadership and extensive contributions to the UBA Group and on behalf of the Board, wishes him the very best in all his future endeavours.

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