25th May, 2011
Prominent businessman and Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Arisekola Alao, has denied reports that the Guarantee Trust Bank is moving for his bankruptcy over N6.9 billion debt.
Arisekola, who described the reports as malicious, also said GTB was attempting to reap where it did not sow.
The businessman, who spoke through his lawyer, Chief Lowo Arowolo Obisesan of the Black and White Law Firm, said he was not responsible for the bankâ€™s travails resulting from the amount in question.
He said the N6.9 billion, which the bank claims he borrowed, was actually used by the bank to purchase shares of First Bank Plc using the name of his business with the understanding that profits accruing from the investment would be mutually shared between him and the bank.
However, Arisekola said he became uncomfortable with the manner the bank handled the transaction and complained.
â€œAs a matter of fact, our client had in several letters including the one dated the 22nd of December, 2010 acknowledged by GT Bank complained of the unorthodox method adopted by the GT Bank regarding the arrangement and management of the shares at its disposal particularly the unilateral sale of some of the shares under its management through its Asset Management Limited and the failure of GTBank to render proper accounts.
â€œContrary to the terms of agreement between GTBank and Aare Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, the GTBank officials few months thereafter started to demand for repayment of its fund made available for the purchase of the shares and threatened to sell off the whole shares to recover its fund without regard to some shares deposited by Aare Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao as additional security for the fund,â€ his lawyer said.
He added that contrary to agreement, the bank went ahead, sold the shares below the actual value and asked him to make up for the short fall, adding that it was this short fall that constituted the debt the bank claimed he and his companies in Lister Group were owing.
â€œThis is the true story of the alleged debt and the attempt of GT Bank to declare Aare Arisekola bankrupt through the process of Federal High Court,â€ Chief Obisesan said on behalf of his client.
According to him, his client had also instituted an action against the bank and its affiliates which were related to the case at the Federal High Court, Ibadan.
He said: â€œit is noteworthy that Aare Arisekola and his Group of Companies are not indebted in any way or in any sum to the GT Bank and make bold to say that all steps taken by GT Bank are futile attempts at covering their inability and failure to give credible account of about N8 billion allegedly used to acquire the shares in issues and for which they have failed to render returns to Aare Arisekola Alao,â€ he said calling the suit filed by GT Bank a mirage and assuring that the businessman was still financially buoyant.