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Shareholders: Access Bank owes Intercontinental N16.2b

By on March 26, 2011

Some shareholders of Intercontinental Bank, opposed to the planned sale of the bank, have alleged that the scheduled buyer, Access Bank, is owing their bank N16.2 billion.

This assertion is contained in a new set of affidavits filed by the shareholders to strengthen the case they filed before Justice Fatima Nyako of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

A top official of the Intercontinental Bank, however, told The Nation yesterday night that the loans granted the Access Bank chiefs are performing–meaning that the duo are servicing them.

The shareholders stated that they stumbled on some documents which revealed that Access Bank’s Managing Director and its Deputy, Aigboje I. Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe, were yet to defray the said debts owed to Intercontinental.

In the suit, they seek to among others, halt the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to formalize a purported Memorandum of Understanding entered between Intercontinental and Access Bank, by which the latter bank is required to part with N50billion to acquire80 per cent of the former bank.

They averred that after the actual suit, they discovered that the CBN listed one United Alliance Company of Nigeria Limited amongst the largest debtors of Intercontinental Bank in an advertorial dated August 18, 2009.

The plaintiffs stated that when they conducted a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), they discovered that the said United Alliance Company of Nigeria Limited is wholly owned by Aig-Imoukhuede and Wigwe, who are the only shareholders of the company with each holding 450, 000, 000 shares.

They stated that as at May 31, 2009, Aig-Imoukhuede and Wigwe owed Intercontinental Bank a total of N16, 247, 686, 168. 18, adding that the status of the loan is still uncertain till date.

The shareholders, 10, lead by Okoli Emeka, suing for other shareholders, named Intercontinental Bank, its Managing Director, Lai Alabi and four executive directors of the bank – Abubakar Sule, Gbenga Alade, Olusegun Osilowo and Suleiman Yusuf as defendants.

Also named as defendants are the bank’s chairman, Raymond Obieri, Ishyaku Umar, Seinye Lulu-Briggs, Toyin Philips, Chris Alabi, J.S.P.C Nwokolo, Ikechi Kalu, Sanni Adams, Bayo Dada, Access Bank and the CBN.

They said they were shocked on learning that the defendants have commenced steps at disposing the assets and shares of Intercontinental Bank without reference to them as members and shareholders of the bank.

They want the court to compel the defendants to render account of their dealings in the bank, and an order that a general meeting of the members of Intercontinental bank be convened forthwith for the purposes of the consideration of the account of dealings of the defendants in the bank and the election of directors for the bank out of its shareholders.

Source : The Nation