FCMB Lands In N7.5b Mess

It is surely not the best of times for First City Monument Bank (FCMB) as it has been dragged before a federal high court for allegedly obtaining the certificate of registration of a deed of all debenture belonging to ASI Building Systems Limited through fraudulent means.

The aggrieved construction company also named the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and its registrar as co-defendants for allegedly conniving with the bank to carry out the fraudulent activity.

While renewing legal hostilities, which have been going on against the bank for some time, the company filed an amended statement of claim alleging that FCMB, acting under the pretext of liquidating the company’s alleged indebtedness to the bank, deceitfully obtained and registered a deed of all asset debentures against the company’s total assets valued at N7.5 billion.

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The company maintains that it has never at any time made, prepare, enter or execute any such deed of all assets in favour of FCMB. It claimed further that the Form C03 used by FCMB to obtain the said deed from the corporate affairs commission was forged because it does not contain the signatures of the directors or secretary of the company as required by law.

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The statement of claim filed by the company’s lawyer Benjamin Atebe further avers that FCMB has no reason to want a deed of all assets from the company in the first place since it is not being owed a kobo. Although it secured a N400 million loan from the bank in 2007, it has since liquidated the loan and its interest in full.

The company therefore wants the court to declare that the deed of all assets debenture obtained by FCMB is illegal and should be revoked and cancelled. It also prayed the court to award N79.5 million as money owed by FCMB and an extra N2.5 million as damages.

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FCMB however filed a counter-claim alleging that ASI Building System Limited is indebted to the bank to the tune of N172.5 million, an allegation the company swiftly countered, maintaining it is not indebted to FCMB in any way.

The case has since been adjourned to enable both parties to prepare their substantive defences. It is expected to resume sometime after the legal sector resumes from the annual court vacation.

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