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Union Bank Moves Against Dangote Over N5 Billion Debt

September 1, 2014

Tunde Opeseitan

Union Bank Nigeria Plc has dragged Sani Dangote, younger brother of the richest black man, Aliko Dangote, before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged failure to liquidate about N5 billion loans.

The bank, in two separate suits against Sani and his companies - Dansa Foods Limited and Bulk Pack Services Limited, is seeking order of mareva injunction restraining all commercial banks in Nigeria from allowing Dangote and his companies to withdraw funds from their accounts pending the determination of the suits.

The bank, in the suits, alleged that in a bid to evade payment of the loan, Dangote has been making frantic efforts to deplete the funds in the accounts of his companies, and that investigation had revealed that the defendants had started diverting the funds to Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada and Switzerland.

According to two separate affidavits in support of the suits deposed to by one Olufunmilola Ayoola, an official of the bank, it was alleged that the failure of the defendants to liquidate the monumental debt had negatively affected the Nigerian economy, a development which the bank claimed necessitated the suits.

According to Ayoola, Union Bank was having difficulty in extending credit facilities to small scale businesses which in turn would have helped in boosting the nation's economy and salvage the country from its present malaise of corruption and under development crisis.

The bank stated that the funds which Dangote and his companies failed to pay were capable of going a long way in impacting positively on the nation's economy.

According to the processes, the bank in September 2008, granted the defendants N5.2 billion.

The breakdown of the loan was given as follows; N500 million overdraft, N500 million advert loan, $2.5 million equipment lease, $2.5 million sales and lease back and $30 million import finance.

Ayoola recalled that when the defendants could not fulfil the promise of paying back the credit facilities from time to time, the bank approved the restructuring of the loan, but that despite that development, Dansa Foods was indebted to the bank to the tune of N4.003 billion as at November 29, 2012.

The loan was later reduced to N3.477 billion, but that despite repeated demands, the defendants failed to liquidate the debt.

Bulk Pack, on the other hand, as at date, is indebted to the bank to the tune of N745.145 million.

Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice Okon Abang has fixed September 4, 2014 for hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction.

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Source: AllAfrica

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