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Arthur Eze, Domkat Bali deny owing WEMA Bank, others

Photo; logbaby

Photo; logbaby

BUSINESS mogul Prince Arthur Eze has demanded the sum of N2 billion from the management of Wema Bank Plc to assuage the alleged damage which he suffered on account of the “false and defamatory” publication of his name and photograph among the debtors of its bank in a national daily on August 7, 2015.

He also demanded the sum of N2 billion from the management of the newspaper, within seven days for publishing and circulating the “highly defamatory and injurious falsehood” to the effect that what he (Eze) was among the directors of a debtor company, Genesis Electricity Ltd which owes Wema Bank Plc the sum of N136.93 million.

Also, a former Minister of Defence, Domkat Bali, has denied being indebted to any bank. According to him, he never took any loan from Fidelity Bank Plc as claimed by the latter.

The retired army general was listed alongside a pastor and pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of the Redeemer’s University, Tokunbo Adesanya, in a publication by the bank in respect of a N279 million loan facility by Lucratel Limited, a telecommunications infrastructure service provider.

But Bali, in a statement issued by an affiliate of the company and business management consultant, Oluleke Oladogba, vehemently rejected the publication by the bank linking the two men with the loan.

He said Mr. Bali, who served at the highest policy bodies in the country at various times as a member of both the Supreme Military Council (SMC), 1984-1985, and the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), 1985-1990, as well as Mr. Adesanya, who also served as an Executive Director in Guaranty Trust Bank, were never indebted to the bank.

Prince Eze, who wrote the bank and the media organization through his counsel, Chief G. Tagbo Ike of Ike, Ike & Associates, No. 9 Ogui Road, Enugu, said that the contentious publication captioned “Arthur Eze’s firm among Wema Bank loan defaulters” and published along with his photograph was totally false and untrue as he (Eze) had nothing to do with the alleged debtor company.

Eze who is the Chairman of Oranto Petroleum Ltd filed the suit against the bank and newspaper in a Federal High Court in Lagos. 

Copies of the letters dated August 7, 2015 were obtained by journalists in Enugu yesterday.

He said the publication that his firm is among loan defaulters to Wema Bank Plc was a figment of the imagination. He described the publication as a cheap blackmail and a whirlwind of wrong economic policy that would hurt and hunt down genuine entrepreneurs in the country.
 
Eze noted that he is a responsible entrepreneur with several business investments across board and not a delinquent debtor as he is made to appear before members of the public by the bank and the daily.

Meanwhile, he asserted that upon his investigation after the publication, he gathered that the said firm, Genesis Electricity Limited in a letter dated 10th January, 2014 wrote to the Managing Director of Wema Bank in Marina titled ‘Re: Past due Obligation’ in demonstration of their commitment to the facility, offered to service the interest of the facility to the tune of two million naira monthly with effect from January 2014. The letter highlighted its repayment schedule of thirty six months which it has strictly adhered to and serviced the facility with thirty six million naira between 24th February, 2014 to 4th August, 2015.
 
He noted that for the avoidance of doubt Genesis Electricity Limited is a wholly Nigerian company that has won several local and international awards for its sterling excellent delivery and has succeeded in leaving its footprint on the energy maps in Nigeria, Togo, Sao Tome and Princepe, Zambia, |South Africa, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and other African countries.
 
“These are positive value addition not just for the Nigerian people but to the continent of Africa at large as these efforts have in no little way light up Africa and various communities,” Eze said, stressing that upcoming companies like GEL should be encouraged by banking policies to grow as is the situation in other climes and not pulled down or distracted with fictitious publications considering the company’s track record of performance.
 
According to him, among other landmark projects by the firm on record time include the construction of the three gas turbine Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company power plant built within seven months, its power plant project in Calabar and the independent power plant in Agbara and Aba to mention but a few all in a bid to augment the electricity supply gap situation in the country.

Eze observed that information available to him shows that the directors of the company are distinguished upcoming entrepreneurs and men of honour who can hold their own anywhere in the world.

Among other prayers of Eze before the court is for the bank and the newspaper to immediately set the records straight and publish in four other national dailies a ‘retraction of their misinformation’ about his character to discerning members of the public.

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