Attempt by Zumax Nigeria Limited to portray FinBank Plc and its current management as fraudulent is unfounded as the issue in question is a subject of litigation; some of which were instituted at the instance of the bank.
Responding to a fraud allegation in respect of N200m facility granted Zumax by IMB International Bank, one of its legacy banks, FinBank, expressed dismay that Zumax, which failed in meeting the loan repayment terms has rather embarked on a smear campaign against the bank and its current management.
It should be noted that FinBank was not even in existence in December 2002 when the dispute arose.
The Bank said that it is instructive to note that the court ruling referred to in Zumax’s publication in which it claimed the bank was culpable was not a final decision but a mere ruling on a preliminary application without delving into the merits of the case.
The bank listed for the benefit of hindsight some of the suits associated with the matter to include: Suit No. LD/865/2007 – First Inland Bank Plc vs Zumax Nigeria Limited – claim by the Bank for N2bn damages suffered by the Bank for libellous communications by Zumax and interference with economic relationship, which is slated for trial; Suit No. LD/847/2007 – First Inland Bank Plc vs Consolex Legal Practitioners and anor – a claim by the Bank for N2bn damages suffered by the Bank for libellous communications by Zumax, and anor.
The other suits, according to FinBank are: Suit No LD/869/2007 – First Inland Bank Plc vs Chuck Nduka Eze, Kingsley Okafor & Edwin Chinye – claim by the Bank for N2bn damages suffered by the Bank for libellous communications by Zumax; Suit No FHC/L/CS/784/2009 – Zumax Nigeria Ltd vs First Inland Bank Plc – an action by Zumax for an order setting aside the Consent Judgement in the sum of N150m granted in favour of the Bank in Suit No. LD/115/05 and Appeal No. CA/l/888/09 – Zumax Nigeria Ltd vs First Inland Bank Plc an appeal against the Ganishee Order Nisi.
The bank noted that the claim by Zumax is absurd and smacks of desperation considering that Zumax cannot be a party to a dispute and at the same time an enforcer of the law.
FinBank reiterated that as a responsible corporate citizen, it is committed to the rule of law and due process and would rather await the outcome of the various suits relating to the matter.
It could be recalled that one of the mandates given to the turn-around managers appointed for the bailed-out banks is the recovery of all debts owed the institutions.
The management of FinBank said that no amount of smear campaign by defaulting creditors would deter it from pursuing the recovery of debts owed the bank.