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N161m debt: NDIC drags Okiro to court

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has dragged the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro before a Federal high court sitting in Abuja for owing Lead Bank Limited about N161 million.

NDIC is claiming that the said debt contributed to the eventual liquidation of the bank. Hearing is expected to commence in the suit on 1 February, 2010.

In the suit, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard, the corporation alleged that Okiro obtained the said credits between November 2000 and November 2001 using his family business enterprise, Hekiro Nigeria Ltd to finance a pipeline laying contract that he had won from Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC. It also accused Okiro of signing as one Bassey Okiro in some of the documents used to facilitate the credits.

In the writ of summon issued by Mr. Okunade Olorundare, SAN, NDIC is demanding a repayment of N161, 597, 365.97 being balance on loan advanced by the defunct bank which the defendants have refused, failed or neglected to pay despite repeated demands.

It is also asking for 21 percent interest per annum on the said sum from 16th January, 2006 until the date of judgment and thereafter and another 10 percent interest per annum from the date of judgment until the judgment debt and costs are fully paid as provided for by the rules of court.

The defendants in the suit are Hekiro Nigeria Ltd., Okiro, Mrs. Hera Okiro (Okiro’s wife); Mrs. Bessy Okiro alleged to be Okiro’s mother and Yvonne Okiro, a family member. 

The plaintiff, however, said if the defendants paid the debt within 30 days, it may terminate the suit against them.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiff averred that the loans obtained at four various times were secured with domiciliation of the contract proceeds, Corporate Guarantee of Delight Nigeria Ltd. and deposit of a landed property at Abeokuta, Ogun State covered by Certificate of Occupancy.

Prior to its closure, NDIC averred that the defunct bank held several meetings with the defendants and wrote them with the aim of recovering the loan.

As at 16 January, 2006, when the bank’s licence was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, NDIC said Okiro’s family was owing outstanding sum of N163,899,395.80 in loan and overdraft of N2,697,970.17 but only paid N5 million in cheque on April 28, 2008.


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