By Innocent Anaba
Lagos socialite, Ms. Angela Onyeador has petitioned the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for alleging that she was indebted to the defunct Assurance Bank Ltd.
Ms. Onyeador is meanwhile demanding a public apology from the Managing Director of the NDIC, to be published in five national dailies, namely, Guardian, Vanguard, Thisday, Punch and the Leadership newspapers within seven days from today and that these be given the same prominence as the offensive publications.
Angelaâ€™s counsel, Mr Onyebuchi Aniakor in the petition said, â€œour attention has been drawn to recent publications in the national dailies of the alleged indebtedness of both our company (Enta Associates Ltd) and our Ms. Onyeador, personally to Assurance Bank Ltd, now in liquidation. Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu claimed to have relied on a list ofÂ alleged of failed bankâ€™s debtors furnished by the NDICâ€.
According to her counsel, â€œthis development is, however,Â saddening and most worrisome where to the knowledge and information of the corporation neither our company nor our Ms. Onyeador is in any wayÂ indebted to the said bankâ€.
He said, â€œas way back as October 3, 2007, we sought through our Onyebuchi Aniakor & Co.â€™s letter of the same date to meet with your officials towards the liquidation of our then outstanding indebtedness to Assurance Bank Ltd.
On October 25, 2007, our counsel met with your (NDIC) officials leading to an understanding that we make a bullet payment of N25,516,961.64 in full settlement of the said indebtedness.
â€œNotwithstanding that the said sum was paid vide our Bankersâ€™ Cheques to this effect forwarded under the cover of our counselâ€™s letter dated December 4, 2007 and received on that date, the Corporation however, turned around some four months later vide its letter April 9, 2008 to demand that we â€œforward an additional sum of N1,208,389.51 after which the Legal Unit will conclude its process in the release of your (our) documents.â€ i.e, the security for the said facility.
Nevertheless, we were constrained on April 10, 2008, within 24 hours of our receipt of the said letter of April 9, 2008 to forward to the Corporation, vide our counselâ€™s letter of the same date, our Bankersâ€™ Cheque in the requested additional sum ofÂ N1,208,389.51. This was acknowledged by the Corporation vide its letter of April 16, 2008 to that effect.
Thereafter, on June 24, 2008, the Corporation notified Messrs Ahaneku, Ekwekwuo & Partners, 1st Floor, UAC Building, Central Business District, Abuja, the Bankâ€™s Solicitors handling the recertification of our said title documents deposited with the Bank that we have settled our account and authorized them to release the title documents to us upon payment of the Solicitors Professional fees. This has been complied with since the July 4, 2008.
â€œWe are, therefore, understandably at a loss at how, more than a year after we had in the Corporationâ€™s own words â€œsettled (our) accountsâ€ and our title documents duly released to us, either our Company or our Ms. Onyeador could conceivably be categorized as debtors to Assurance Bank Ltd (In- Liquidation).
In the circumstances, therefore; and, given the grave injury done to our persons, integrity and business, we hereby demand a retraction of the said publications as they concern our Company and our Ms. Onyeador and an unreserved apology both of which shall be published in not less than five national dailies, namely, the Guardian, Vanguard, Thisday, Punch and the Leadership newspapers within seven days from today and that these be given the same prominence as the offensive publicationsâ€, the petition added.