First Bank Denies Forgery Allegation against Officers


Obinna Chima

First Bank Nigeria Limited has described as false and mischief, the news making the rounds on the allegation of forgery against its officers by the promoters of Zone 4 Energy Limited.

It explained in a statement that Zone 4 Energy Limited maintained a business relationship with FirstBank and had been availed of import finance petroleum lifting facility following their request to support local purchase and importation of refined petroleum products, as well as the acquisition and renovation of a tank farm.

The facilities were secured with a perfected All Asset Debenture over the financed tank farm located in Calabar free trade zone.

“The bank also in the course of its business relationship with Zone 4 Energy also availed facilities to three other customers; Reeico Nigeria Limited, Broadwaters Resources Ltd and Calder Crest Nigeria Ltd the proceeds of which were) transferred to Zone 4 Energy Limited accounts in compliance with transfer instructions from Reeico Nigeria Limited, Broadwaters Resources Ltd and Calder Crest Nigeria Ltd.

“After the disbursement of funds and passage of time and the failure of Zone 4 Energy to meet its obligations to the customers and FirstBank, the bank had at various times engaged with the management of Zone 4 Energy Ltd and got an undertaking to repay the debts owed the bank. “However, after protracted engagements and the company’s failure to honour the term of its undertaking, the bank activated a recovery process with the appointment of a receiver manager and instituted a receivership process to take over the financed tank farm,” it explained.

The bank insisted that the allegation of a purported forgery against it and its officers was a desperate attempt by “the management of Zone 4 Energy to scuttle the recovery process with spurious allegations by playing to the public gallery.”