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Skye Bank Loses Round One in Suit versus Centrespread Advertising

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A Lagos High Court has dismissed, for lack of admissible evidence, a preliminary application by Skye Bank for an order pronouncing that Centrespread Advertising had agreed to pay the sum of N525million as outstanding indebtedness to the bank and compelling the latter to pay same.

In a motion for interlocutory injunction in suit No: LD/2362GCMW/16 in which Centrespread is challenging Skye Bank’s claim of its continued indebtedness, the Skye Bank counsel, Solomon Mbadiwe, had prayed the Court to rule that Centrespread had, in a letter dated June 16, 2015 and Claimant of Affidavit of June 22, 2016, admitted and proposed the payment of the sum of N525million to Skye Bank as final settlement of the loan agreement between the two parties.

He therefore asked the court to compel Centrespread to make full payment of the stated sum to Skye Bank while hearing continues in the original suit.

Delivering his ruling on the application at the resumed sitting of the court in May, the trial judge, Hon. Justice A. M. Lawal of the Lagos High Court, threw out the Skye Bank application on the ground that it was based on inadmissible evidence.

“The letter dated June 16, 2015, from the caption and the contents of the letter, it is written towards settlement of the dispute existing between the parties. Letters written towards settlement are classified as ‘without prejudice’ and the privilege that attends ‘without prejudice’ communication will not be denied to a document simply because it is not captioned without prejudice. As the letter of June 16, 2015 was written with proposals for the settlement of the loan dispute, such is not admissible and cannot be the foundation of an application for Judgment upon admission”, Justice Lawal ruled.

The trial judge noted that the court was not unmindful that the figure of N525m said to have been admitted by Centrespread are found at paragraphs 5, 6 and 16 of the Claimant’s pleadings and paragraphs 9, 11 and 13 of the Claimant Affidavit of June 22, 2016 filed in support of the motion of June 22, 2016 for Interlocutory Injunction. He, however, added that ‘a readings of these traced the source of the said admitted figure of N525m to no other source other than the letter of June 15, 2016”, adding that “since the letter is not admissible being covered by the ‘without prejudice’ privilege, the said paragraphs of the pleadings and Affidavit are also not admissible for the purpose of an application for judgment based on admission”.

In the Statement of Claim filed by Centrespread in the originating suit, the frontline advertising agency averred that while it is true that a transaction was carried out between it and Skye Bank Plc in 2007, it had made good on the terms of the agreement to pay back the principal borrowed loan which, according to the terms of agreement, would expire in the year 2020.

Centrespread further averred that a few years ago, when it felt that it was being subjected to exorbitant charges by Skye Bank, it employed the services of forensic financial analysts who confirmed its concerns as true.

Centrespread is therefore praying the Court to, among other reliefs, declare Skye Bank’s claim that it still owes the total amount declared in its record as null and void since, according to it, a substantial part of the figure being touted as standing against its name has been discovered to be illegal charges.

Alternatively, the Claimant is also praying the honourable court to compel Skye Bank to release the claimant’s loan account statement and for the loan account statement to be analyzed by a forensic analyst to be appointed jointly by both parties for the determination of the Claimant’s actual indebtedness to the defendant.

Further hearing in the matter was adjourned till August 12th of this year.

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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