Ecobank dragged ex-Ecobank MD, Funke Osibodu’s husband to court over alleged N8.7bn debt
Victor Osibodu, CEO, Vi
A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till March 17 to begin hearing of Ecobank Nigeria Limited’s N8,701,770,328.83 dispute with a businessman, Victor Osibodu and his firm, Vigeo Limited.
Victor is the husband of Funke Osibodu, a former managing director of Ecobank Nigeria, a former top Group Executive of the Ecobank Group and Union Bank of Nigeria.
Ecobank is seeking to recover the sum from the duo, alleging that it was a debt, but Osibodu and Vigeo deny being indebted.
Justice Yellin Bogoro fixed the date after parties prayed for time to reconcile the exhibits sought to be tendered by the bank.
At the commencement of proceedings, Ecobank’s counsel Mr. Dapo Akinosun SAN, leading six others, informed the judge that the matter was slated for hearing, adding that he had 111 exhibits attached to the process and two witnesses to call.
Akinosun said he and defence counsel Mr. Oyetola Oshobi SAN had reasoned on the need for harmonisation of the exhibits to save the court’s time.
When Oshobi aligned himself with Akinosun’s submission, Justice Bogoro granted both counsel’s prayers for adjournment and fixed March 17 and 30 for commencement of trial.
In its statement of claim, Ecobank is praying the court to declare that the defendants are indebted to it in the sum of $16,886,665.04 and N862, 061, 492.63 being the sum outstanding as of December 1, 2016, with interest accruing at the agreed interest rate.
It is also seeking an order awarding post-judgment interest on the sum, at the rate of 20 per cent per annum until the final liquidation of the debt.
The bank also wants, among others, an order for the forfeiture of Vigeo house, 6 Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos valued at N800 million as of August 2007, an order of forfeiture of 16A Milverton Road, Ikoyi worth N700 million.
An order of Court for payment of the outstanding sum plus interest at the rate agreed by the parties until final liquidation, Post judgment interest on the outstanding debt at the rate of 20% until final liquidation
An order granting Ecobank ownership, control, lien and disposition of; all shares held in any companies by the 1stand 2nd defendants with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, cash at hand and held in Bank or any financial institution in Nigeria, all financial investments standing to the Credits of the 1st and 2nddefendants whether held in shares, bonds, treasury bills or other financial instruments, amongst others.
General and exemplary damages in favour of the Bank in the sum of N100,000,0oo.oo for loss of business expectation and lack of good faith by the 1st and 2nddefendants.
But Osibodu and Vigeo resisted the bank’s claims in their statement of defence.
They stated that they were not indebted to the Plaintiff in the sum of N8,701,770,328.83 or any sum at all.
They added that the bank was not entitled to any of the reliefs claimed in the suit as the same were frivolous, baseless, unmeritorious and should be dismissed with substantial costs.