By Babajide Komolafe
High Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs has threatened to legal action against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Union Bank plc over the appearance of his name in the debtors’ list published by the apex bank.
A statement issued by counsel to Lulu-BriggsÂ stated that unless both the apex bank and Union Bank plc took very profound steps to set the records straight and absolve its client of the accusation which it claims is false they would be forced to go to court.
â€œPremised on the very clear and incontrovertible facts of this matter, we have our Clientsâ€™ firm instructions to take every lawful step in ensuring that his name is removed forthwith from the column indicating the MTS debt to Union Bank,â€ Solola & AkpanaÂ Barristers & Solicitors to Lulu-Briggs said.
â€œWe expect that Union Bank would do the honorable thing by circulating a suitably worded apology in the same manner and with similar prominence as the offensive document,â€ they added.
The lawyersâ€™ statement explained that their client firmly and unequivocally denies any involvement whatsoever in the grant, issuance, disbursement or application of any loan either as a director, shareholder or majority shareholder of MTS.
It said Lulu_Briggs views the prominent display of his name with respect to this loan either as a grave error of judgment or a mischievous and malicious attempt by the Bank to impugn his well earned reputation and reduce the esteem in which he is held in the society. The statement added that the lawyers had therefore been instructed to set the records straight and state the true and correct state of affairs in order to clear his name and preserve his hard earned reputation.
According to Solola & AkpanaÂ Barristers & Solicitors a summary of the clear and incontrovertible facts with regard to this transaction are as follows: â€œOur Client did not secure NGN9.849 billion or any money at all from the Bank through MTS as maliciously alleged. MTS has not borrowed any money whatsoever, not ONE KOBO from any bank or other financial institution in Nigeria or elsewhere since our Client became a shareholder/director in 2006 and the loan facility for which the CBN publication listed MTS as a debtor customer of the Bank was obtained, secured, disbursed and expended by MTS in 2003, three years before our Client became a shareholder/director of MTS in 2006. He was neither a shareholder nor director of MTS when it obtained and disbursed the loan together with officials of the Bank and as such cannot be personally liable in any manner whatsoever,â€ the lawyers said.
â€œThe loan was already delinquent before our Client became involved with MTS. The directors/shareholders at the time provided personal guarantees and pledged properties to secure the loan. The Bank, rather than take steps to enforce the payment of the loan, was complicit in making false representations to unsuspecting investors such as our Client. It is this deception that the Bank seeks to perpetuate by inserting our Clientsâ€™ name in respect of this loan for which he provided no personal guarantees (since he was not there at the time) and therefore has no personal liability.â€
â€œOur Client is neither the Chairman of the Board, the Managing Director or an Executive Director of the company and is definitely not the majority shareholder of MTS as wrongly alleged. His involvement in MTS has been as an â€œangel investorâ€ and a creditor to the company. He has performed his duties as director of MTS in good faith and exercised the requisite amount of care, skill and diligence as the records will clearly show.
Since our Client became involved with MTS in 2006, he has not received any dividend payment or obtained any other benefit whatsoever for his substantial investments and good faith effort to turn the company around. He remains a creditor of MTS and is as keen as other creditors to recover his advances to MTS. To suggest that he obtained a loan from Union Bank through MTS as has been widely reported is most unfair and seeks to turn the truth on its head. It is a wicked allegation that has no basis whatsoever and our Client intends to vigorously defend his hard earned reputation,â€ they explained.