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Ecobank Drags Vigeo boss, Victor Osibodu to court over alleged N8.7billion debt

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       In a bid to recover an alleged debt of N8,701,770,328.83 Ecobank Nigeria limited has dragged a Lagos businessman, Mr. Victor Osibodu and his company Vigeo limited before a Federal high court, in  Lagos southwest Nigeria. In last week’s proceedings, Ecobank’s counsel, Mr. Dapo Akinosun SAN, leading Barrister Akintayo Iwilade and four other counsels informed the presiding judge, Justice Yellin Bogoro that the matter is slated for hearing, adding that the bank has 111 exhibits attached to the process and two witnesses to call.
He further told the court that he had discussed with the defense counsel, Mr. Oyetola Oshobi SAN, on the need to align all the exhibits in order to agree on which of them that will be tendered together without objection and those that would be objected to in order to safe the time of the court, Mr. Oshobi SAN aligned himself with Akinosun’s submission.
 Consequently, both counsels asked for an adjournment to enable them to reconcile the documents, thereafter Justice Bogoro adjourned till March 17th and 30th of March,22 for trial to commence.
     In its statement of claim, Ecobank alleged that by a duly executed offer of Multiple Credit Facility dates April 10, 2007 the bank approved the grant of $15 million and $1,750,000.00  respectively in favor of Vigeo Nigeria limited,for the acquisition of a motor tug boat known as Lady Margret now Vigeo Olufunke from a company in Norway.
The bank stated that by another duly executed offer of Multiple Credit Facility dated April 10, 2007, the bank in three tranches granted to Vigeo the sum of N200 million, N750 million and N350 million respectively for the purpose of working capital and import duty payments with a tenor of 12 months (renewable annually) at the interest rate of 16 % per annum.
According to the bank, the first Vigeo Company secured the facilities, with a lien on shares of blue chips companies estimated at N500 million to be whare-housed with the bank, receipt of irrevocable domiciliation of contract proceeds from majors Oil companies in favor of the bank and stocks of goods valued at N150 million.
The bank added that in accordance with the security required under the credit facility, dated April 10 2007 (Dollar Facility), the  Chairman of Vigeo Company,   Mr. Victor Osibodu executed a personal guarantee and a duly notarized statement of Net worth dated August 16, 2007, the statement of Net worth provides particulars of his personal assets worth N2,002,400,000.00 for the security of the loan sums in the event that he defaults in the repayment of the loan.
According to the bank, in fulfillment of the personal guarantee by Osibodu, the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) by a letter of October 30, 2007, confirmed the placement of a lien on 25,083,612 units of GTB shares belonging to Osibodu.
On July 9, 2008, Mr. Osibodu resolved at its Board Meeting to request for an additional facility of US$ 2, 000,000.00 to finance the dry dock maintenance of the vessel.
  Upon consideration of the Defendant’s request, Plaintiff made an offer in principle indicating the terms and conditions of the said offer of $2,000,000.00.
The Security of the $ 2,000, 000 loan includes amongst others an irrevocable domiciliation of Charter contract proceeds from Knock Allan Pte or their Nominee, the new chatterers of the vessel as well as domiciliation of Charter contract proceeds from SNEPCO.
According to the plaintiff, despite the defendant’s loan obligations, the board of his company at a meeting on May 3, 2009, requested the additional facility of $1million for the purpose of completing the life extension program of the vessel MV Vigeo Olufunke.
Due to the inability of the defendants to meet their repayment obligations, the bank on several occasions restructured the facilities yet they could not meet up with the repayment terms.
Consequently, by a letter dated June 27, 2014, the bank informed the defendants that it’s account had remained non-performing as Osibodu had failed to meet the agreed term.
However, after several meetings between the bank and the defendants over the indebtedness, Ecobank by a letter dated September 2, 2014 informed Vigeo that its current indebtedness stood at N798,202,164.28; $13,547,854.4 as at June 25, 2013 and additional $4,263.24.
Consequently, Ecobank is urging the court to declare that the defendants are indebted to  it in the sum of $16,886,665.04 and N862, 061, 492.63 being the sum outstanding as at 1st of December 2016 with interest accruing at the agreed interest rate.
An order awarding post-judgment on the sum, at the rate of 20% per annum until the final liquidation of the debt.
The bank is also seeking the order of the court for the forfeiture of Vigeo house, 6 Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos valued at N800 million as at August 2007.
An order of forfeiture of 16A Milverton Road, Ikoyi worth N700 million.
“An order granting the Plaintiff ownership, control, disposition and/or lien rights (until and to the extent and purpose of full realization of the sums) in the event that the properties identified are still insufficient to liquidate the Defendants’ debt.
1.”All shares held in any companies by the Defendants within the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2. “Cash at hand or cash held in any Bank and/or financial institutions in Nigeria standing to the credit of the first and second defendants among others and general and exceptional damages in the sum of N100 million.
However, Vigeo in its statement of defense stated that Ecobank Transnational Incorporated did not acquire defunct Oceanic Bank International PLC at all, contesting that any purported acquisition is void, illegal and unenforceable in law.
It stated that there was no merger of defunct Oceanic bank with the plaintiff and no valid or legal merger adding that the purported merger is illegal and void in law and did not comply with all requisite statutory requirements and due process of law.
The defendants also stated that Ecobank is not the successor-in-title or successor-in-interest of defunct Oceanic Bank and the rights, assets and liabilities of Oceanic Bank are not vested in Ecobank.
The Defendants shall at the trial of this suit rely on the Report of the Forensic Review of Vigeo Limited Accounts with Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
    Consequently, the Defendants state that they are not indebted to Plaintiff in the sum of N8,701,770,328.83 (eight billion, seven hundred and one million, seven hundred and seventy thousand three hundred and twenty-eight Naira eighty-three Kobo) or any sum at all and that the bank is not entitled to any of the reliefs claimed in this suit as same are frivolous, baseless, unmeritorious and should be dismissed with substantial costs.

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Health & Wellness

Polaris Bank clinches healthcare excellence award

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Polaris Bank, Nigeria’s leading retail Bank, has been recognized as the “Outstanding Healthcare Financial Institution of the Year” by the Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA). The award presentation, which took place in the Bank’s head office in Lagos on Tuesday was presented in recognition of the Bank’s contribution to the healthcare sector as part of the high points of the 8th Annual Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA) which was held over the weekend in Lagos.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board of NHEA, Dr. Anthony Omolola, who presented the award canvassed for support; both in terms of funding and the establishment of a system of empowering healthcare providers with trainings on the business of managing healthcare where doctors can be taken through modules on finance, credit balance, operations and reconciliation that will assist them run their medical facilities profitably.

Omolola noted that the Polaris Bank’s intervention in Nigeria’s healthcare system is urgently needed, adding that, “A huge number of almost 70% of Nigeria’s population access the primary health centers where their health cases get sorted at that level.”

Reacting to the award presentation, Polaris Bank Managing Director/CEO, Innocent C. Ike, stated that, “As a Bank, we stand for excellence, and in any sphere of life or part of the economy where you see our involvement or presence, it is driven by the fact that we see an opportunity to add value and support the growth of that sector. We are primarily motivated by the impact of our work not awards, but we deeply appreciate recognitions such as the one from NHEA. Indeed, we cherish it and are motivated to do more.”

According to Mr. Ike, “In the first two to three years as a company and brand, especially at the period Covid-19 broke out, we saw the pandemic as an existential threat that made us extend support to Nigeria’s healthcare sector with other like-minded organisations, while commending medical practitioners whom we could say were literally taking the bullets for us.”

The CEO used the opportunity to pledge that Polaris Bank will work with NHEA to understand the needs of players in the primary and secondary healthcare segments to see what we can do together.

On his part, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, a former Health Commissioner in Ogun State and a member, NHEA Advisory Board however noted that, “Any of us who have accessed healthcare of late and look at what has been expended would understand that it is difficult for average Nigerians to access healthcare with what they earn. So please put good money behind the growth of the sector following the huge gap noticed in healthcare delivery by the outbreak of Covid-19.

On how the award recipients emerged, the Director of Marketing, Communication and Strategy, NHEA, Mr. Moses Braimah, said, “The awardees emerged through a rigorous process involving essentially nomination and voting. The exercise is then subjected to a verification team that carries out independent research and intelligence gathering over an organisation’s history of contribution to the health sector.”

NHEA is an initiative of Global Health Projects and Resources in collaboration with Anadach Group of the United States of America. It is an annual event where individuals and organisations are recognized and celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the healthcare sector.

Polaris Bank has committed billions of naira to Nigeria’s healthcare sector; providing access to finance, capacity building and technology platforms to assist build a robust ecosystem. A good example is being a funding partner of the major equipment for the establishment of Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center.

Polaris Bank, adjudged the Digital Bank of the Year, is a future-determining and digitally-driven Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products to individuals and businesses.

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Entertainment

Sesan Adeniji Stars In “Journey Of The Beats” On Showmax

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Journey Of The Beats – a once-in-a-lifetime story that explores the origin and evolution of Afrobeats and black music that debuts exclusively on Showmax on 23 June 2022, is a must-see. The 10-part documentary series produced by Obi Asika digs into the stories that drove the movement. Episode 1, hosted by music historian ED Keazor and Kunle Tejuosho, is a testament to that.

Episode 2, which premiered on 30 June 2022, zeroes in on the hardship of the early 1990s, political disruption and the exit of international record companies in Nigeria, and how the deregulation in the broadcast media helped open the space for the growth of Afrobeats. But, the rise of the independent superstars was held back by piracy and greed. From the streets in Abeokuta, Ajegunle, and Onitsha to Idumota and Alaba, it revealed the struggle, pain, and joy.

This captivating story in episode 2 hosted by Sesan Adeniji (an entertainment journalist with over two decades of experience in the Nigerian music industry, an Associate Producer, Researcher, and co-director on the #JOTB documentary) also has a curated JOTB EPISODE 2 companion playlist on Spotify. According to Showmax Head of Content, Candice Fangueiro, “The growth of Afrobeats cannot be overstated, and we feel privileged as a platform to showcase and tell the story behind its evolution.”

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Entertainment

Digital Marketer, Tosin Ajibade Hosts 2022 New Media Conference School Debate

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Media practitioner and author, Tosin Ajibade-Oladeinde on Friday, June 24, 2022 successfully hosted the New Media Conference School Debate at Chalcedony School, Abijo G.R.A, Ibeju-Lekki. This year’s edition is themed ‘Does Social Media Enrich Education or take away from Education?’

 

The event featured award-winning Nigerian dancer and choreographer Kaffy Shafau, award-winning Tiktoker Rodney Umeh, and Communications Manager for Anglophone West Africa at Meta, Sola Obagbemi.

 

The students between year nine and eleven in their arguments emphasized on the importance of social media and how the excessive use of it can be curbed. Some of the points argued during the debate include; cyber bullying, adult content, fake news dissemination, plagiarism, social media control mechanism among others.

 

Speaking at the event, Kaffy advised the students to always make sure they take advantage of the social media platforms in a positive way. She added that “social media is a tool and you’re the driver, adding that the good the bad will always exist but who is behind the keyboard is what matters.”

 

Sola Obagbemi admonished the children to be good ambassadors irrespective of the social media they use. She said children should learn to make use of social to benefit them in the area education, and self improvement.

 

The organizer of the event, Oluwatosin Ajibade-Oladeinde in her remarks thanked the host school, the panelists and the students for making it a success. She further assures that she would continue to do her best to sensitize and educate children about the use of new media.

 

Prizes were awarded to groups of  student who came first and second while each student at the venue got a copy of the book ‘Olori Supergal from Social Misfit to Social Media Hero’ written by Tosin Ajibade and Alajota by Kafayat ‘Kaffy’Shafau.

 

NMC is an annual networking event that focuses on digital marketers, vloggers, podcasters, influencers, content creators, bloggers, tech enthusiasts, and more in the field of media and communications.

 

The school debate was powered by OSG MEDIA.

 

Follow us on social media for more information:

 

Facebook – New Media Conference

Tiktok – @newmediaconference

Twitter – @nmcafrica

Instagram – @newmediaconference

Youtube – New Media Conference

Website – www.newmediaconference.ng

 

 

 

 

 

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