Joseph Benjamin! It is doubtful if too many people can claim to have met or read about him. But he is also the man who is allegedly a thorn in the flesh of Leo Stan Ekeh, CEO, Zinox Computers. How?
His grouse with Ekeh, Spy Glass gathered, developed following a business transaction between his company, Citadel Oracle Concept Limited, and Technology Distributions, a company owned by Ekeh’s.
It was gathered that after Citadel Oracle won a contract for the supply of HP laptops to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), two of its appointed staff/representatives, Princess Kama and Chief Igbokwe, approached Technology Distributions, an authorised HP distributor and the biggest ICT distributor in Sub-Saharan Africa, to supply them the laptops on credit pending payment by the FIRS.
A source explained that ‘‘ given the company’s previous bad experience and in order to avoid exposing the business to bad loans, if a client is taking products on credit for onward contractual supply to a customer, staff of Technology Distributions would have to be signatories to an account opened for the purpose of disbursement of funds as regards the contract. This is the only security for the laptops supplied on credit. So, Technology Distributions appointed its staff, Mr. Chris Eze Ozims and Mrs. Shade Oyebode as signatories to the account. But nowhere did they represent that they were directors of Citadel Oracle Concept Ltd. So, if Mr. Joseph has evidence to the contrary, let him produce it.’’ It was also learnt that immediately the contract was executed and payment effected by the FIRS, Technology Distributions simply deducted the pre-agreed invoice sum of the laptops and ensured its staff resign as signatories to the said account. The same procedure/process applied to other customers who had similar contracts with FIRS for the supply of similar HP laptops at same time, according to the source.
However, crisis developed when Joseph could not agree on the profit sharing formula with his appointed agent/representative, Princess Kama; hence, he reported the case to the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters in Abuja and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for investigation.
The source added that “Since the crux of the matter was the denial by the complainant (Mr. Joseph) of not signing the Board Resolution to the account with which the FIRS remitted payment for the supplied HP laptops, the Police sent the documents for forensic analysis to determine its veracity. The evidence proved that the documents were actually signed by him. In the light of this, the Police discovered that the issue was indeed a civil case between Mr. Joseph and his representatives, Princess Kama and Chief Onny Igbokwe who obtained the HP products from Technology Distributions on credit. The disagreement between the trio led to Mr. Joseph petitioning the Police that his signature was forged to execute the contract.’’
But as the bible says that the prayers of a righteous man have great power to prevail, the computer guru is now dancing the dance of joy when it was discovered that the said documents were not forged and the computers were truly delivered to FIRS. As a result, the Police then filed a case before the FCT High Court, Abuja, after a forensic evidence showed that a Board resolution bearing his signature, which he claimed to have been forged, was abfctually his. He was actually trying to blackmail the businessman. Joseph was sued for giving false information to the Police, an offence contrary to Section 140 of the Penal Code.