By Nwafor Sunday
Barely eight hours he was sacked as the senator representing Abia North, by the National and State Assembly election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, the former governor of the state, Dr Orji Uzo Kalu has denied report making rounds that he sold the entire issue shared capital of his banking group, First International Banking (FIB) Group Limited, The Gambia.
Kalu who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC was accused by an online media (NOT VANGUARD) to have sold his own banks in five countries.
The media stated that ‘the documents revealing the transaction was obtained in a leaked data obtained by German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) from two offshore secrecy providers (Appleby and Asiaciti Trust) and 19 secrecy jurisdictions around the world.
The leaked 1.4 terabyte data, named Paradise Papers, consist of 13.4 million records and is no doubt one of the biggest leaks in history.
The transaction according the media was concluded between 2015 and 2016.
Reacting, the Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate denied selling the issued shares capital of his banking group, First International Bank (FIB), noting that the report was misleading.
Disclosing this through Mr Obinna Kalu, Legal Adviser, FIB Group Limited, Kalu opined, “The report that a former governor of Abia, Orji Kalu has sold the issued shares capital of his banking group- First International Bank (FIB) Group Limited, The Gambia is misleading.
“To set the records straight, Slok Nigeria Limited has not sold any of its issued shares capital in FIB Group Limited, The Gambia to any person or organisation.
“Be it known that Slok Nigeria Limited remains the legal and genuine owners of FIB Group Limited and its subsidiary banks.
“Recently, an illegal attempt by one Lilium Grays Limited to take over the subsidiary banks of FIB Group Limited was dismissed by the Supreme Court of The Gambia via a judgment delivered on July 30, 2019.
“The judgment thus reaffirmed that Slok Nigeria Limited is the legal and genuine wholly owner of FIB Group Limited and its FiBank subsidiaries in Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone”.