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Access Bank denies any wrongdoing in sale of customer’s goods

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Access Bank Plc has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the alleged sale of a customer’s goods worth N2.5billion.

The Police Special Fraud Unit in Lagos had charged Access Bank Plc, its managing director and chief executive officer, Herbert Wigwe, and others with 21 counts of conspiracy, fraudulent disposal of trust property, fraudulent conversion, stealing and false representation before an Ogun State High Court.

Access Bank Plc , Mr Wigwe, Alawode Oluseye and Bayo Adesina are accused of conspiring and stealing 23,754.413 metric tonnes of steel billets valued at ₦2.5 billion belonging to BMCE Bank International Plc.

But in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Monday, Access Bank however denied the allegations stressing that at no time did the bank or any of its executives or officers commit any of the alleged offences.

The statement reads:

“In 2015, Access Bank availed credit facilities to Metal Africa Steel Products Limited, to finance the importation of billets and machinery for the expansion of its factory. Consequent upon the grant of the facilities, the bank opened Form M and Letters of Credit (“LC”) to facilitate the importation of the billets for which the shipping documents were consigned to the bank. The facilities were secured by a Debenture Trust Deed over the customer’s assets shared with other lenders.

“Upon arrival of the billets, the bank released the shipping documents to the customer to enable it clear the goods. The bank subsequently discovered that the customer had cleared the goods from the port without payment of appropriate customs duty.

“The bank, in line with its duty to protect its depositors’ funds, reported the alleged crime to SFU which obtained a court order to take over the customer’s business operations. Furthermore, the bank petitioned Interpol, which is presently taking steps to repatriate the suspects involved in the alleged fraud from India. Subsequently, the beneficiary banks (including the bank) under the Debenture Trust Deed, appointed a Receiver/Manager who took over the operations of the customer’s business and paid the appropriate customs duty on the billets.

“The Receiver/Manager subsequently obtained court order from the Federal High Court and sold the billets and distributed the proceeds amongst the beneficiary banks (including the bank).”

The lender further said in the statement that it was “aware that the petitioner also laid claims to the same billets following which there were attempts at settlement between the petitioner and the Receiver/Manager. The petitioner subsequently filed a complaint at SFU following the failure of settlement.

“Based on the foregoing, we were surprised to be served with the charges by the SFU alleging, amongst others, that the bank stole the billets and forged the shipping documents covering the billets.

“We hereby state that at no time did the bank or any of its executives or officers commit any of the alleged offences. The bank has continued to maintain the position that it financed the importation of the billets and that the Receiver/Manager appointed by the bank and a syndicate of other lenders had the right to sell the goods. We are aware that there are civil matters in court on the same subject.

“We are also aware that there are on-going settlement negotiations between the Receiver/Manager and the petitioner. Without prejudice to the settlement discussions and the civil matter, we reiterate that the Receiver/Manager appointed by the bank and a syndicate of other lenders acted within its powers to sell the billets.

“We wish to assure our stakeholders that the bank will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its depositor’s funds in line with its fiduciary duties as well as extant rules and regulations.” The statement concluded.

 

 

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Kano PDP asks INEC to cancel supplementary poll

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano state has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the supplementary governorship election ongoing across the 28 local government areas of the state.

Rabiu Sulaiman-Bichi, acting chairman of the party, who made the call while addressing journalists on Saturday, said there was need for the commission to cancel the election as the process had completely been taken over by armed political thugs.

“Today this charade called re-run election was slated to hold in Kano and other states but unfortunately, what we have in Kano is nothing but a sham,” he said.

“Reports reaching us since yesterday indicated that thugs have allegedly been mobilised to take over all the 208 polling units.”

According to him, the thugs were allegedly brought from Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and other neighbouring states and were “armed to the teeth”, posing as voters in the polling units in the localities.

The chairman alleged that the thugs freely voted with permanent voter cards (PVCs) that did not belong to them, while some posed as INEC staff.

He said as a peace-loving party, the PDP had alerted security agencies, in addition to writing a letter of caution to the INEC resident electoral commissioner to alert him to the situation.

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BREAKING: Tribunal declares PDP’s Adeleke winner of 2018 Osun Gov election

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The Election Petitions Tribunal set up for the 2018 governorship election in Osun State has declared Ademola Adeleke winner of the election.

The three-man panel said during its ruling in Abuja Friday afternoon that the rerun election that held on September 27 was illegal.

The tribunal therefore deducted the votes scored by the APC candidate Gboyega Oyetola at the rerun illegal.

The tribunal said Mr Adeleke won the election at the first ballot on September 22, and the rerun that INEC devised to reach a final conclusion a week later was illegal.

Details shortly.

 

Source: Premium Times

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Osun Guber Poll: Tribunal upholds PDP’s claims of alteration of results

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The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal has upheld claims by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that results of the Osun governorship elections were altered.

The tribunal held that testimonies by agents of the APC, who were witnesses at the tribunal showed that Forms EC8A and EC8B were altered after the completion of the election.

The tribunal also dismissed PDP’s claims of over-voting in 125 polling units, saying there was “no scintilla of evidence were adduced that their valid votes were voided.”

On the issue of non-compliance, the tribunal said the PDP could not prove the allegations.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election, Senator Ademola Adeleke and his party are challenging the declaration of Isiaka Oyetola of the All Progressive Congress, APC as the winner of the September 22/27, 2018 election in the state. They urged the tribunal to declare Adeleke as the winner of the poll.

Oyetola is urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition which he described as a bedlam full of confusion.

Detail later…

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