N50bn Debt: Court Orders Union Bank to Nominate Accountant to Reconcile Loan to Jimoh Ibrahim

Davidson Iriekpen

Justice Abdulazeez Anka of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered Union Bank of Nigeria to nominate a chartered accountant within seven days to carry out forensic audit on the statement of accounts in the alleged N50billion loan allegedly granted to business mogul, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, by the bank.

The accountant is to work with two other accounting firms nominated by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Ibrahim.

Justice Anka had on July 11 discharged an interim order granted to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to take over some assets belonging, to Ibrahim.

Consequently, the defendants appointed the firm of Adewale Folowosele & Associate to meet with those that will be nominated by AMCON and Union Bank respectively.

However, at the resumed hearing of the suit monday lawyer to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Yusuf Ali (SAN), informed the court that AMCON had nominated KPMG but Union Bank was yet to present its nomination.

“I recall that at the last adjourned date, we agreed that parties should appoint chartered accountants. I am happy to report that the defendants appointed the firm of chartered accountants, Adewale Folowosele & Associate and AMCON appointed KPMG and it’s for Union Bank to appoint their own chartered accountant because Union Bank is the primary creditor.

“We want the court to order that the three firms of chartered accountants are to agree on date/time to meet at the Union Bank headquarters to carry out forensic audit of the disputed accounts and report the progress of what they have done back to the court,’’ he stated.

Ali urged the court to order Union Bank to appoint a chartered accountant within seven days to carry out the forensic audit as agreed by parties.

He wondered why Union Bank was foot-dragging in appointing a chartered accountant to carry out the audit, stressing that the outcome of the forensic audit worship form the bases for amicable settlement of the issue.

Aligning with the submission, counsel to the defendants, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), stated that in compliance with the directive of the court, the defendants appointed the firm of Adewale Folowosele & Associate while AMCON appoint KPMG.

Akintola told the court that ordinarily, Union Bank ought to have been eager to cooperate with the arrangement but the contrary was the case.

The matter has been adjourned till September 28 for report of settlement.

The applicants had in a 24-pragraph affidavit in support of the motion on notice deposed to by one Gbenga Onilude, a litigation officer in the law firm of B. Ayorinde & Co, stated that none of the properties attached in the ex-parte order belongs to any of the defendants; NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited and Ibrahim.

According to the deponent, the ex-parte order was obtained via suppression and misrepresentation of material facts by the plaintiff (AMCON) and it was obtained in bad faith against persons who are not parties to the suit.

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