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War Against Bank Debtors: So Sad…Court Restrains Former Billionaire, Gbolade Osibodu From Operating Accounts In 17 Banks

War Against Bank Debtors: So Sad…Court Restrains Former Billionaire, Gbolade Osibodu From Operating Accounts In 17 Banks
November 22
21:36 2017

The news doing the rounds about a former billionaire, Gbolade Osibodu, is not heartwarming at all. A Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has restrained a Lagos businessman, Mr Gbolade Osibodu and his company Vigeo limited and their agents from dealing in whatever form monies under their control in 17 commercial banks in Nigeria pending the determination of a claim of N8,701,770,328.83 suit filed against them by Ecobank.

The court also ordered the affected banks to freeze and not to carry out any transaction on the accounts of the defendants and that they should depose to an affidavit disclosing the nature, value, and balances in their custody.

The court also restrained Osibodu and his agents from dealing in or howsoever dissipating all his movable assets.

According to an affidavit sworn to by a banker at Ecobank Nigeria limited, Adeniran Ojora and filed before the court by a Law Firm of Simmons Cooper Partners, it was alleged that Ecobank granted several loan facilities to the defendants.

By a term loan facility dated August 1, 2008 and duly executed by the bank and Vigeo limited on August 8, 2008, the bank approved US$2 million, it was agreed that the bank would make an equity contribution of 80% in the sum of US$1,600,000 and Victor Osibodu would make a contribution of 20% in the sum of US$400,000 towards financing of the dry docking exercise, in addition to the legal Mortgage over the company and the personal guarantee of Victor Osibodu backed up by notarized statement of networth.

In 2009, the bank approved US$1 million in favour of Vigeo Company by a Promissory note dated June 30, 2007 and duly executed by its Director and Secretary. The company undertook to pay the sum US$1 million only on 30th June 2013 being due date fixed by the promissory note.

Further to the personal guarantee as stated above, Victor Osibodu provided a notarized statement of his net worth which valued his net worth as N2,871,984,896.49, all these loans were at one time or the other restructured.

In a letter dated June 27, 2014 the bank informed Vigeo company that its account had remained non-performing as the company had failed to make the agreed loan repayments. The bank also provided Victor Osibodu ‘s outstanding loan obligations which stood at N719,332,948.38 due for 365 days and US$13,074,478.40 due for 365 days and US$4,114.28 due 390 days.

As a consequence of Victor Osibodu ‘s failure to repay the outstanding sums as at August 1, 2016 the bank formally called in his personal guarantee off by demanding the immediate payment of N869,794,650.56 and US$16,381,292.52 on or before September, 2016.

As at 6 December, 2016, the Vigeo Company total outstanding indebtedness stood at N8,123,327,459.83.

However, upon payment of the amount realised from the sale of the share of Victor Osibodu, the company’s outstanding indebtedness reduced to N7,526,112,446.84.

Osibodu, as the Chairman of Vigeo Company was alleged to have specifically involved in negotiating the loan facilities from 2007 to 2014 while Vigeo company was typically involved in the approval process of the loan facilities from 2007 to 2014.

Ojora averred further that Osibodu had begun to dispose of his shares in blue chip companies having been made aware that the bank had disposed his shares which were used as part security for the loan granted the Vigeo company.

In his ruling, justice Saliu Saidu restrained Vigeo company and its Chairman, Osibodu from removing or transferring, dealing in or however dissipating all their movable assets up to the Plaintiff ‘s claim of the sum of N8,701,770,328.83 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

The defendants were also barred from operating their accounts domicile in 17 commercial banks in Nigeria pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The case has been adjourned till next week for mention.

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