N258m debt: Finbank moves to sell Nwobodo’s property

By Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

Monday, 18 Oct 2010


First Inland Bank Plc has began moves to sell property belonging to a former governor of Enugu State, Senator Jim Nwobodo for failing to settle a N258,350,421.34 loan.

According to documents in the possession of The Punch, the bank had granted Nwobodo’s company, E.M. Micheletti & Sons Nigeria Limited, loans totalling N200m l between 2008-2009 at 18 per cent interest per annum.

The loan sum plus interest is put at N258, 350, 421.34 as at June 25, 2010.

Following the failure to repay the loans, the creditor has threatened to sell Nwobodo’s property at 8, Okpara Avenue and 59, Park Lane Avenue, Enugu, w hich he mortgaged to bank for the loan.

When contacted for his reaction to the development,Nwobodo did not deny that his company was indebted to the bank. He told our correspondent that he would take up the matter with the Managing Director of First Inland bank .

“I was actually out of the country; I just came in and I was confronted with this. I am taking up the matter with the bank MD and by next week, everything will be settled. It is not an issue we should be discussing over the telephone, but I can tell you we are working towards settling it,” he said.

Nwobodo had sought for a N100m loan in February 28, 2009 for the re-opening of Savannah Bank Plc following the Appeal Court judgment of February 5 which ruled that the Federal Government had no right to shut down the bank and the decision of both the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation to formally hand over the beleaguered bank to him.

In a letter to the Managing Director of Finbank, signed by the former governor and the Secretary to Micheletti & Sons, Eugene Okebugwu, the Savannah Bank Chairman had promised to repay the loan within 18 months or as soon as the CBN and the NDIC pay awarded damages to Savannah Bank.

He offered his property at Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu valued at N200m as collateral for the facility.

The former governor went further to sign a guarantee and indemnity to Finbank on behalf of Micheletti on July 1, 2008 in which he pledged to pay N150 million and also consented that “until the ultimate balance owing to the bank has been paid or satisfied in full, the bank shall have a lien on all property or assets belonging to me from time to time in the possession of and a charge over all stocks, shares and marketable or other securities from time to time registered in the name of the bank or its nominees whether the same be held for safe custody or otherwise.”

However, after writing series of letters and holding meetings with the politician to get him to settle the debts without success, the bank engaged the services of a law firm (recovery agents) to get its money from Nwobodo.

A letter addressed to the former governor by the law firm of Ugwu Anichi & Co, dated September 23, 2010 said Nwobodo had failed to fulfill the personal guarantees he gave to repay the debts.

The letter signed by Okenna Nnaji and Gospel Adam, said the bank would commence court proceedings against him , for him to be declared bankrupt in line with Sections 1 (a) (ii) (e), 4 and 7 of the Bankruptcy Act to enable it recover its money by force of law..

“As you well know, both the 1999 constitution and the Bankruptcy Act expressly prohibit a certified bankrupt from holding any office in the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the letter stated.


Source: Punch



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