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N24bn Debt: Zenith Bank Drag Stallion Group To Court

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Zenith Bank Plc has dragged the chairman Chief Executive officer of Stallion Groups of Companies, Mr. Sunil Vaswani before an Igbosere High Court of Lagos State, Nigeria, over alleged unpaid N23,388,188,756.049 billion debt.

In the suit marked LD/3945GCMW/2020, Zenith Bank noted that the suit was filed due to failure and refusal of Stallion to pay the alleged debt despite several and repeated demands.

Zenith Bank said the suit was filed pursuant to Order 5 Rules 4 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

Consequently, Zenith Bank Plc through is lawyer, Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN), is asking for an order of the court entering judgments in its favour against Vaswani, being his outstanding indebtedness on account of the guarantee given in respect of various sum advanced to Stallion Nigerian Limited which has remained unpaid as at May 12, 2020 in spite of repeated demands.

The bank is also asking the court for a declaration that having regard to the clear and unambiguous provisions of the Deeds of Personal Guarantee and the statement of net-worth executed by Mr. Vaswani In its favour over the huge facilities advanced to Stallion Nigeria Limited, who has failed together with the defendant upon several and repeated demands to liquidate the debt that has arisen therefrom, its entitled to judgment against the Defendant in the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 049 billion, being Mr. Vaswani’s outstanding indebtedness to it, as May 12, 2020, and interest at the rate awarded by the Court from the date of judgment until final liquidation

The bank also wants a declaration that having regard to the true construction of the Deed of Personal Guarantee executed by Mr. Vaswani as additional security in its favour, in respect of the huge sum advanced to Stallion Nigeria Limited, it is entitled at law to all the rights attached to Vaswani’s assets, landed properties and other forms of real estates no matter wherever located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to the property known as L9, Lailak Street, Emirates Hills, Emirates Living, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to the property known as 40, Avenue Road, London, NWH 8 6H8, and all countries of the European Union and all forms of stock of shares in the equity of any company or investment, cash deposits, bonds wholly or jointly held investments in any Financial Scheme, all forms of negotiable instruments in all Commercial Banks, Discount Houses, Mortgage Banks, Merchants Banks. Savings and Loans, and all licensed Financial Institutions located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria. the United States of America. United Arab Emirates. particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Rak Bank of Rak Operations Center, Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emirates NBD Bank of Baniyas Road, Doha, Opposite Dubai Creek Tower, Next to Dubai Chamber, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained In accounts domiciled with Barclays Bank of 2, Churchill PI, Canary Wharf, London E14 5RB, HSBC Bank of 8, Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London and Standard Chartered Bank 1, Basinghall Avenue, London, ECZV 50D, and all countries of the European Unmn (EU), and any other jurisdictions worldwide until the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, owed by him to the bank being the guarantee on the unpaid credit faculties obtained by Stallion Nigeria Limited from the Claimant together With accrued interest thereon as at May 12, 2020 is fully realized.

The bank further asked the court for an order vesting in it, all the rights attached to Vaswani’s assets, landed properties and all other forms of real estate wherever located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to the property known as L9, Lailak Street, Emirates Hills, Emirates Living, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to the property known as 40, Avenue Road, London, NWH 8 6H5, and all countries of the European Union (EU), and any other jurisdictions worldwide and all forms of stock of shares in the equity of any company or investment, cash deposits, bonds, wholly or jointly held investments in any Financial Scheme; all forms of negotiable instruments in all Commercial Banks, Discount Houses. Mortgage Banks. Merchants Banks, Savings and Loans, and all financial institutions located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Rak Bank of Rak Operations Center, Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emirates NBD Bank of Baniyas Road, Deira, Opposite Dubai Creek Tower, Next to Dubai Chamber, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Barclays Bank of 2, Churchill Pl, Canary Wharf, London E14 5R8, HSBC Bank of 8, Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London and Standard Chartered Bank 1, Basinghall Avenue, London, ECZV SOD, and all other countries of the European Union (EU) and any other jurisdictions worldwide until the sum N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, owed by the Mr. Vaswani to the bank, on account of the guarantee on the unpaid credit facilities obtained by Stallion Nigeria Limited from the Claimant together with accrued interest thereon as at of May 12, 2020, is fully realized.

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The bank also want the court to declare that being an unsatisfied creditor in the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, is entitled to an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant from selling, alienating, disposing, transferring any interest in all landed properties and other forms of real estate in the name of the Defendant; cash deposits, bonds, all forms of stock of shares in the equity of any company or investment and all forms of investments wholly or partly held in any Financial Scheme in Mr. Vaswani’s name, all forms of negotiable instruments in all Commercial Banks, Discount Houses, Mortgage Banks, Merchant Banks, and all financial institutions acquired in his name wherever located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Rak Bank of Rak Operations Center, Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emirates NBD Bank of Baniyas Road, Deira, Opposite Dubai Creek Tower, Next to Dubai Chamber, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Barclays Bank of 2, Churchill Pl, Canary Wharf, London E14 5R8, HSBC Bank of 8, Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London and Standard Chartered Bank 1, Basinghall Avenue, London, EC2V SDD, and all Countries of the European Union (EU) and other jurisdictions worldwide, until the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, owed by Mr. Vaswani, as at May 12, 2020 is fully satisfied

Zenith Bank while asked for cost of instituting the suit, equally urged the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Mr. Vaswani, his agents, representatives, officers, servants, privies, assigns, proxies, estates, trustees, and/or any person, natural or corporate, acting on his behalf in respect of the Defendant’s assets, landed properties no matter wherever located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to the property known as L9, Lailak Street, Emirates Hills, Emirates Living, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to the property known as 40, Avenue Road, London, NWH 8 6H8, and all other countries of the European Union (EU), from dissipating, disposing of, selling, transferring, alienating, any moveable or immovable assets, moneys, shares, and all forms of stock of shares in the equity of any company or investment, bank guarantee, advanced payment guarantee, promissory notes, bill of exchange, letters of credit and other negotiable instruments in the name of the Defendant located within the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Rak Bank of Rak Operations Center, Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emirates NBD Bank, of Baniyas Road, Dcira, Opposite Dubai Creek Tower, Next to Dubai Chamber, the United Kingdom, particularly and not limited to sums of money contained in accounts domiciled with Barclays Bank of 2, Churchill Pl, Canary Wharf, London E14 5R8, HSBC Bank of 8, Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London and Standard Chartered Bank 1, Basinghall Avenue, London, EC2V 500, and all other countries of the European Union(EU). any other jurisdictions worldwide until the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, owed by him to the bank, on account of the guarantee on the unpaid credit facilities obtained by Stallion Nigeria Limited from the Claimant together With accrued interest thereon as of May 12, 2020 is fully realized.

Zenith Bank Plc in an affidavit deposed to by one of its Principal Officers, Tochukwu Amakor, averred that its a banker of value to Stallion Nigeria Limited, located at 270, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr. Vaswani, is the alter ego and Chief Promoter/Chief Executive Officer and the personal guarantor of all the various facilities availed Stallion Nigeria Limited.

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On transactional agreement, Amafor averred that as a result of the banker-customer relationship existing between his bank and Stallion Nigeria Limited (“Stallion”), a company primarily promoted by Mr. Vaswani, the Zenith Bank Plc availed Stallion several credit facilities to support its businesses in different dimensions.

The further states that upon stallion’s further request, Zenith Bank via a duly executed offer letter dated April 30 2014 availed Stallion two types of facilities, namely facility one of a Short term import facility (STIF) in the sum of N14.5 billion (Fourteen Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira) with funding ratio of 100% by the bank. He added that despite the clear terms of the agreement between Stallion and the Bank and the great latitude which also culminated into several restructured facilities availed Stallion, Mr. Vaswani failed, refused and or neglected to meet its due obligations as they fell due and allowed its account to always be in the negative region. Consequently, on account of the Personal Guarantee executed by Mr. Vaswani, the Bank wrote to him vide letters dated May 24 and 30 2017.

He stated that despite having been sewed with the various demand letters, Mr. Vaswani still failed and neglected to take any step towards the payment of his debt awaiting liquidation. Consequently, Zenith Bank Plc at various times commenced Suit No: FHC/L/CS/571/19 between Zenith Bank Plc. vs. Stallion Nigeria Ltd & Anor. and Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1866/19 between Zenith Bank Plc. vs. Stallion Nigeria Ltd 8Anon, respectively at the Federal High Court for the purpose of recovering the indebtedness of Stallion but magnimously discontinued same upon request of Stallion and the Defendant for an out-ofcourt settlement.

The deponent stated that in accordance with his bank’s transparency standard, which is in line with the international best practices, the bank had on several occasions commissioned its internal forensic investigation team to carry out a forensic audit of Stallion’s accounts with it. The team, after the exercise, found out that Stallion is indebted to the Claimant in terms of a colossal sum in excess of N20.25 Billon as at January 2020. And that when it became apparent that Stallion was not willing to make good its default especially having regard to the tone of its letter dated December 31, 2019, the his bank wrote a final demand letter dated January 16, 2020 to Stallion calling for the immediate liquidation of Stallion’s indebtedness which stood in the sum of N20.25 Billion as at the said date.

He stated that as a fact, when his bank discovered that Stallion and Mr. Vaswani would stop at nothing to cause economic ruins to its business, and further expose it to regulatory sanctions from the Central Bank of Nigeria, his bank was constrained to call in the securities used as collateral for the huge facilities availed Stallion including the personal guarantee of the Defendant. Adding that the facilities availed Stallion had since expired and become due and payable, but contrary to the terms of the Personal Guarantee consensually executed by Mr. Vaswani in favour of the Bank, he till date failed, refused and or neglected to liquidate the facilities.

He stated further that despite having admitted his indebtedness at different times, Mr. Vaswani still Ignored several demand letters, including the letter dated May 15, 2020, served on him and failed to take any steps to liquidate the long overdue colossal indebtedness of Stallion to the Claimant which stands In the sum of N23, 388,188, 765. 49 billion, as at May 12, 2020. I also add further that the Respondent’s indebtedness is as shown in its various account numbers 1010033653, 3700226746, 1014854027, 1012868183 and 1010336835 totaling the amount aforesaid. And that he had compared the entries in Stallion’s statement of account with his bank’s books being kept in the course of business and found the entries therein to be correct.

He stated that the statement of accounts was regularly made available to Stallion in the ordinary course of transactions without any objection to the entries therein by Stallion. And that Mr. Vaswani’s failure to liquidate the indebtedness of Stallion, has adversely affected Zenith Bank’s business operation as the funds packaged as facilities to Stallion are third patty depositors/stakeholders’ funds.

He further stated that the facilities availed Stallion upon the guarantee of Mr. Vaswani, were fully utilized to finance the importation of rice, fish, fertilizers, automobiles and raw material but upon profitable sale of those goods, Mr. Vaswani, being the alter ego of Stallion fraudulently diverted the proceeds of sale. Adding that the defendant is not prepared to perform his obligation as contracted by him via his personal guarantee.

He states that he is aware that instead of taking steps to perform his obligation to pay the indebtedness of Stallion which obligation has since crystalized, Mr. Vaswani, being an Indian, a national of another Country, the engine room and mind of Stallion, is now making moves to dissipate his assets and the assets he has over time acquired in the name of Stallion here in Nigeria and abroad. This, he stated is in preparation for his planned escape or relocation to another country with the hope of avoiding huge debt awaiting liquidation.

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He states that unless the reliefs sought by his employer are grants, Stallion’s indebtedness to the bank, he repayment of which was guaranteed by Mr. Vaswani will not be liquidated.

Mr. Vaswani in a counter affidavit to Zenith Bank Plc’s Suit, deposed to by Stallion Group’s director of Administration, Mr. Tajudeen Olalere and filed and argued by his lawyer, Mr. Uchenna Njoku, denied be indebted to the bank and urged the court to dismiss the suit for been false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, unjust and unwarranted and abuse of court process.

Tajudeen averred that Mr. Vaswani only became aware of the existence of this Suit and the Mareva Order made on June, 17, 2020 upon a search conducted at the Registry of the Court on July 8 2020, by his Counsel pursuant to in incomplete disclosure of the existence of this Suit by the Zenith Bank Plc in a counter-affidavit the bank served on Stallion on July 7, 2020 in Suit No FHC/L/CS/113/2020 Between Stallion Nigeria Limited Vs Zenith Bank Plc pending before Hon. Justice Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division.

He stated that Mr. Vaswani was only served the Originating Process and other processes already filed in this matter through service on his counsel made on July 22, 2020, pursuant to an agreement by counsel to both Parties reached on July 12, 2020, to the effect that Zenith Bank’s counsel can serve the Originating Process and all other processes tiled in this matter on the Defendant’s Counsel, the latter having undertaken to receive same on behalf of the Defendant. The agreement of counsel to both Parties resulted in the letter issued by Mr. Vaswani’s counsel to Zenith Bank’s counsel on July 13, 2020. Adding that Zenith Bank’s affidavit is false and unsubstantiated.

The deponent averred that all Zenith Bank’s allegations and contentions of being owed the sum of N23, 388, 188, 765.49 billion, as at May 12, 2020 by Stallion are false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, unjust and unwarranted. He added that the entire false package of allegations of indebtedness put together and presented in the Zenith’ Bank’s Affidavit are part of a deliberate stratagy to humiliate Stallion and Mr. Vaswani and terrorize them into backing down from their legitimate request that there should be a reconciliation of all the accounts of Stallion in the Claimant or a third patty audit of the accounts of Stallion in the Claimant.

He further stated that Stallion is not indebted to the Zenith Bank in the said sum of N23,388,188,765.49 billion or any other sum whatsoever. And that contrary to the false claims by the Bank, Stallion has not only repaid its indebtedness to the Bank but has overpaid the Bank by several billions of naira for which cause Stallion has been calling for account reconciliation or third party auditing of Stallion’s accounts in the bank.

He averred that Zenith Bank’s sinister motive is the more revealed by the fact that prior to filing this action, Zenith Bank has been and remains a defendant in an action filed, by Stallion against the Claimant in Suit No FHC/L/CS/113/2020 Between Stallion Nigeria Limited v. Zenith Bank Plc. And that the action is still pending at the Federal High Court, Lagos, coram Obiozor J.

He stated that in compliance with it its obligations, Stallion made payments in liquidation of the various facilities and enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the bank, adding that a substantial part of the facility advanced by the Zenith bank was to Cover various Letters of Credit, with a covenant to convert the facility which was denominated in Dollars to Naira within 180 days of the facilities.

The deponent while attributing the 2015 Economic recession to the cripple of many businesses in the country, stated that the recession also affected the cash flow of Stallion whereupon the Bank resort to applying exorbitant interest rate on the facilities and, to compound the hardship, also stopped supporting the Company

He stated that in its spirited efforts at amicable resolution of the situation created by the exploitative and highhanded disposition of the Bank, Stallion held discussions with the Bank and its Solicitors sometime in August 2017, whereat Stallion, without conceding indebtedness as claimed by the Bank, offered to make a good faith payment of N4.6 Billion subject to reconciliation of accounts. Adding that following up on the offer referred above, Stallion has since then made lodgments of N4, 290, 428, 878 billion, being cash lodgments and proceeds of the sale of its Shares in the Claimant prior to and as at November 14, 2019.

He stated further that Stallion also made supplies of vehicles to the Bank without receiving payment up to the value of N1,544, 159,999.96 billion. And that Stallion also secure a purchaser for its property at Plot No 11 14, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island for the sum of N3.5 billion but Zenith Bank failed and neglected to give an approval for the sale until the offer from the buyer lapsed.

He stated that Stallion also requested for Account Reconciliation Exercise or 3rd Party Audit of its Accounts but Zenith Bank refused till date. He added that despite the payments made by Stallion, the Zenith Bank continued to maintain without justification, that Stallion was indebted to it an allegation Stallion has since denied and repeatedly asked for a reconciliation of the accounts.

He averred that seeing the inexplicable refusal of the Zenith Bank to have the account reconciliation exercise, Stallion’s concerns that the bank has been manipulating its accounts became heightened whereupon Stallion decided to undertake an audit of its accounts in the Claimant beginning from the year 2012. And that to the Stallion’s utter chagrin, it was discovered that the bank had charged unauthorized and unlawful interests, management fees, COT-VAT fees, finance charges and LC charges to the tune of N18, 369, 960 billion.

He stated that Zenith Bank did not avail Stallion an Overdraft facility up to the sum of N500 million. And that the facility overed by the offer letter dated April 30, 2014, was a line facility and the claimant did not at anytime drawdown on the said sum of N500 million.

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He stated that the action of the Zenith Bank by moving from one Court to the other amounts to forum shopping and an abuse of the court process. Adding that since Stallion is not indebted to the Bank, all the securities pledged for the facility and the Guarantee sought to be enforced herein have been discharged. He added that the allegations of Asset Stripping is Unjustified and Unwarranted

The deponent also denied that Mr. Vaswani has in conjunction with other Directors of Stallion begun or attempted stripping the assets of “the Respondent” or the personal assets of the Defendant or Stallion. This allegation is, in all respects, malicious. And that there is no single of evidence that Mr. Vaswani has been privately diverting funds outside Nigeria including but not limited to the United Arab Emirate, in the City of Dubai, United Kingdom, United States, the European Union or anywhere else in the world.

He stated that Zenith Bank’s allegations and contentions of being owed the sum of N23,388,188,765.49 billion as at May 12 2020 by Stallion is false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, unjust and unwarranted. And that the entire false package of allegations of indebtedness put together and presented in the Zenith Bank’s Affidavit are part of a deliberate strategy to humiliate and end Stallion end and terrorize them into backing down from their legitimate request that there should be a reconciliation.

Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi after hearing various applications filed by the parties, said that the date for ruling on the objection on marava injunction earlier granted will be communicated to the parties.

She advised counsel to both parties to explore the possibility of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the interest of continuity of business relationship. Adding that it would serve the interest of both parties better if they can reach a mutual resolution of the dispute and continue with their business relationship.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

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BUSINESS

Housing Fraud: Agent Land in Prison for Allegedly Duping Prospective Tenants

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A housing agent, Israel Obidozie, is to spend festival period in Prison following his arraignment for allegedly obtaining N610,000 rent from three different persons in Enugu State.

Magistrate, C.O. Ejeagbasi, of the Enugu South Magistrates’ Court, ordered that the defendant be remanded in Enugu Correctional Centre.

The magistrate also ordered the Prosecution Counsel, Mrs Rosemary Ojobo, to contact the defendant’s family on how to pay the complainants their money.

“The main interest of the court is not just sending the defendant to prison, but how to recover the monies from him.

“Therefore, make sure his family and relatives are here on the next adjourned date,” the court ruled.

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The magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the matter till January 28, 2022, for reviewing of facts and sentencing.

During his arraignment, the defendant, who had no counsel representing him, pleaded guilty to the one count charge, bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.

The police told the court that the defendant had, on July and August, at Gariki Awkunanaw in Enugu South Local Government Area, collected the sum of N170,000 to rent out a room and parlour apartment for one Peace Uba.

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She listed other monies collected by the defendant to include: N200,000 from one Christiana Osuji for a two-bedroom apartment and 240,000 from one Paulinus Onyia for another two-bedroom flat.

The prosecution counsel said that the defendant, after collecting the money from the complainants, disappeared until he was arrested on Dec. 19.

According to Mrs Rosemary Ojobo, the offences are punishable under Section 386 of the Criminal Code, Revised Laws of Enugu State, 2004.

 

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Firm Cries Out Over Alleged Invasion of its Property

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A company, Rockston Shelter Company Ltd has appealed to Inspector General of Police, IGP, to swift into action to curtail abuse of power in breach of public peace over action taken by his men on forged Supreme Court judgement.

In a petition written to the IGP by the company through their lawyer, Barrister Giwa Amu, the company alleged that one Mr Kunle Awoma of Adamakin Investment Works Ltd unlawful use policemen to take possession of all properties belong to Rockston Shelter Company Ltd.

According to the lawyer, the Supreme Court judgement of July 14, 2000 in Suit No: SC/48/1992 relied upon by the policemen to execute, and proceeded to forcefully and criminally take possession of the company properties is forged documents.

Barrister Amu stated that on the 2nd of December, 2021 Mr Kunle Awoma of Adamakin Investment Works Ltd led a group of twenty Mobile Policemen and Soldiers into the company’s site at Olopameta Community, Hopeville Estate Waterfront, Sangotedo, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State alleging that they have a Supreme Court Judgment to execute, and they forcefully take possession.

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The lawyer said that when his firm applied for a certified true copy of the said Supreme Court judgement it revealed that there was no such judgment and what was shown by the suspects is a forged document.

He stated that the activity of the suspect and his cohorts is capable of destroying investor confidence in Lagos State and may lead to a breach of the public peace and a breakdown of law, if not checked.

Rockston Shelter Company Ltd is therefore urging the IGP to use his good office to intiate a detailed investigation into the matter with a view to bringing the suspects to Justice.

The firm stated that late Efunroye Tinubu and the family trustee, Adamakin Investment & Works Limited), have no court judgment in their favour and no valid or legal allocation of land from the Lagos State government.

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N7bn Illegal Charges by Zenith Bank: Court Fixes Judgement Day

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed thirteenth of this month to deliver judgement in a suit over about seven billion naiira illegal charges been deducted by Zenith Bank in a customer account.

The suit was instituted by a Nigerian independent oil marketer, Olushola Anthony Adejuyigbe against Zenilth Bank Plc.

The date was fixed by Justice Ayokunle Faji on October 29, 2021, after parties adopted their final written addresses.

It would be recalled that Adejuyigbe alongside his company, Tonique Oil Services Limited, had in 2018 instituted a suit designated FHC/L/CS/1584/2012, against Zenith Bank Plc, over alleged illegal and excessive charges to the tune of N6, 441, 369, 617.73 billion.

In his amended statement of claim, Adejuyigbe through his counsel, Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN) revealed that in the course of its business activities, his company, Tonique Oil Services Limited obtained several credit facilities from Zenith Bank PLC while he pledged three of his properties as securities for the loan facilities.

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The oil merchant further stated that three different transactions leading to the legal battle occurred in his company’s Current Account where the alleged excess and illegal interest and charges were discovered and that upon discovery of the said charges, the company demanded a reversal but Zenilth Bank bluntly refused.

He also stated that a forensic accounting firm was engaged to scrutinize and analyse his company’s account, and it was then discovered that between August 2006 and December 2013, excess interest and charges on the company by Zenith Bank Plc had accumulated to the said sum.

Adejuyigbe is contending that he is not indebted to the bank, rather the bank has overcharged him to several billions of Naira.

He urged the court to declare that Zenith Bank, being a bank within the and control of CBN cannot charge interest on any facilities granted to him beyond the official approved policy rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

But Zenith Bank in its statement of defence, with its statement on oath sworn to by Senior Assistant Manager internal control and Audit Department of Zenith Bank, Vincent Ohanugo and filed by its lawyers, Ajibola Lawal-Akapo and others, denied almost all the plaintiff’s claims and stated that the company was granted several loans which include: ₦2.5 billion regular commercial paper; $36 million import finance facility; $6, 648 million commercial paper/usance facility; $9million import finance facility via usance facility and $11million short term import facility of ₦500 million.

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The bank also stated that the plaintiff authorized Zenith Registrars Plc to take steps to purchase the shares of the bank on its behalf, while also pledging 3.5million and 17,154,300 units of the shares respectively, in favour of the bank and authorized the bank to sell them to recoup part of the credit facilities the bank granted.

Zenith Bank also said the allegation of unethical conduct, lack of competence and professionalism against it by the plaintiff was made out of malice, confusion and frustration on the part of the plaintiffs.

The bank therefore urged the court to dismiss the suit for been frivolous and same amounting to abuse of court process.

 

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