The former chairman of defunct Intercontinental bank Dr Raymond Obieri, who was once the President of Nigeria stock exchange currently the Chairman of Harmony Trust and Investment Limited company, has instituted N535,500,000 suit against a financial institution Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc, for alleged harassment, intimidation and blackmail.
In a statement of claim filed before a Federal high court in Lagos south west Nigeria by a Lagos lawyer Dr Oladapo Olanipekun (SAN),the plaintiff alleged thus, that Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc (formerly known as Intercontinental homes savings and loan limited) made investment in the sum of N752.5million plus interest of N93.1 million being a total sum of N845.6 million in Summit Capital and Asset management limited Company by way of placement, as at the time of the placement Dr obieri was both a Director in Intercontinental homes savings and loans Plc (now Trust bond mortgage Bank Plc )and Summit Finance company (later renamed Summit Capital and Asset Management limited).
Dr Obieri alleged further that Summit Capital and Asset management limited then advanced loan facilities to members of staff of Intercontinental bank Plc to acquire shares in various companies, the loan exceeded N845.6 million advanced to Summit capital and asset management by way of placement. The loan granted to the staff of Intercontinental bank Plc were never repaid.
It was discussed during a meeting of the board of Directors of Summit Capital and Assets Management held on 29th oct. 2013 and resolved that the company be voluntarily wound up and a liquidator Mr Donald Agu was appointed by the company for that purpose.
Further to the above, the debt owed to Intercontinental homes and saving and loans limited was set off against the debt owed by Intercontinental bank Plc staff both debts were consequently written off being group related debts The decision was taken in good faith considered to be most logical and prudent step to take in the circumstances as both Intercontinental bank Plc and Intercontinental homes saving and loan limited being group and connected companies.
Dr obieri averred further that, sometime in 2017, TrustBond mortgage Bank Plc singled him out for intimidation via a letter dated 7th November, the bank threatened to issue petition against him to Economic Financial Ccrimes Commission EFCC and Attorney General of Federational AGF and to institute criminal proceedings against him on unfounded claims and bogus charges if he failed to meet its demands.
Dr obieri while demanding for the sums, of N500 million as general damages N10million as special damages,N15million as exemplary damages, #10.5million as the cost of this suit urged the court to restrain the bank and it’s agents from making any demands for any sum from him and from further harassing and intimidating him.
However in a statement of defence and counter claim filed before the court on behalf of Trustbond bank Plc by a Lagos lawyer Barrister Edoka Dox Onyeke,the Trustbond Morgage bank Plc while denying almost the claim of Dr Obieri alleged that prior to the deliberate act of Dr obieri’s participation in liquidation of his own company, Summit Capital and Asset Management limited ,he was the majority shareholder and alter ego of the company , and his company was indebted to the Trustbond Mortgage bank Plc to the tune of N983,633,559.49 as at 27 march,2012 which indebtedness he willfully and maliciously omitted from the statement of asset and liability of his company filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC Abuja,prior to obtaining the consent of the CAC to the voluntary wound-up of his company Summit Capital and Asset management limited.
The Trustbond Mortgage bank denies any role in relation to the advancement or grant of any loan facilities in excess of the sum of N845.6 million by the plaintiff company to members of Staff of Intercontinental bank Plc particularly as it relates to the reference made by the plantiff to the meeting of his company’s board of Directors which did not deliberate on any agenda in relation to the loans granted by his company to members of staff of Intercontinental bank Plc.
The Trustbond alleged further that when it applied to CAC for documentation filed by the liquidator appointed by Dr. Obieri’s company to carry out the voluntary wound up of the plaintiff’s company Summit Capital and Asset Management company,it became aware that Dr. Obieri as a director of Summit Capital and Asset Management who was involved in the placement investment that resulted in the debt owed the Trustbond Mortgage bank and also participated in board meeting where the indebtedness of his company to the defendant was deliberated on had deliberately willfully and fraudulently omitted the debt owed the Trustbond Mortgage bank from the statement of asset and liabilities of his company sought to be liquidated with deliberate false Information to the effect that former staff of the Trustbond Mortgage bank were indebted to his company, via an insertion in the statement of asset and liabilities filed with CAC that former Intercontinental homes staff were indebted to his company to the tune of #1,095,567,609
The liquidation of Summit Capital and Asset management limited did not follow the due process of law as claimed by the Dr. Obieri as the plaintiff who was the Prime mover and majority shareholders and alter ego of the company took deliberate and willful steps to provide the liquidator with false information.
The Trustbond averred that having failed to persuade Dr Obieri to see the severity and consequences of his action, which led to a monumental loss of the sum of N983,633,559.49 being the sum owed the Trustbond Mortgage bank by his liqudated company as at 27th of March 2018 it was constrained to lodge a formal complain with EFCC in a petition dated 14th December 2017,complaining about the act of criminal misfeasance and fraudulent misrepresentation in the statement of asset and liabilities filed with CAC,and investigation had commenced into the allegation by EFCC.
Consequently, the mortgage Bank is counter claiming in the sum of N983,633,559.42k and N5 million as general damages and N5 million as cost of defending this legal action
The mortgage bank is urging the court to grant judgement in its favour.