Former Minister of Defence, Domkat Bali, has denied being indebted to any bank, saying he never took any loan from Fidelity Bank Plc as claimed by the bank.
The retired army general was listed alongside a pastor and pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of the Redeemer’s University, Tokunbo Adesanya, in a publication by the bank in respect of a N279 million loan facility by Lucratel Limited, a telecommunications infrastructure service provider.
But, in a statement issued by an affiliate of the company and Business Management Consultant, Oluleke Oladogba, Bali vehemently rejected the publication by the bank linking the two men with the loan.
He said Mr. Bali, who served at the highest policy bodies in the country at various times as a member of both the Supreme Military Council (SMC) 1984-1985, and the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) 1985-1990, and Mr. Adesanya, who also served as an Executive Director in Guaranty Trust Bank, were never indebted to the bank.
Drawing attention of the Board of the bank and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the publication, Mr. Oladogba faulted the inclusion of the names of Messrs. Bali and Adesanya in the list of debtors, describing it as false.
Although the consultant admitted that Messrs. Bali and Adesanya were Honorary Chairman and members respectively of Lucratel Limited between 2008 and 2009, he said they were neither shareholders, nor were they ever involved in the management of the company as executive directors.
“Retired General Domkat Bali and Pastor Tokunbo Adesanya never took any loan from, and have never owed Fidelity Bank. They were never shareholders or executive directors of Lucratel Limited,” Mr. Oladogba said in the statement.
Providing a background to the loan, Mr. Oladogba said Lucratel, indeed, got a facility from Access Bank in 2005/2006 to execute an Ericsson/Vmobile project valued at N279 million.
He said the company had actually completed all the cell sites and were issued the job completion certificates by LM Ericsson, as conditions precedent for payments of about N1.14 billion already received by Access Bank.
Thereafter, he said, a dispute, which is currently a subject of a litigation before Justice James Tshosho of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, had erupted over the facility between Access Bank and Lucratel Limited.
The dispute, he explained, had resulted in Olurotimi Williams being appointed by Access Bank as Receiver manager of the company in 2009, including the taking over of ownership of Lucratel based on an interim order of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi.
By that arrangement, Mr. Oladogba said “all assets and liabilities from creditors have since become the responsibility of Access Bank/Olurotimi Williams, long after General Domkat Bali and Pastor Tokunbo Adesanya had relinquished their roles as Honorary Chairman and member of the Board respectively.
“It is therefore absolutely wrong to ascribe any loan to either Lucratel or retired General Domkat Bali and Pastor Tokunbo Adesanya, or indeed any shareholder in Lucratel, as the company’s assets and liabilities have since been taken over by the receiver manager,” he said.