Contrary to claims by Stabilini Visinoni Limited that it is not indebted to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the bank has insisted that the construction company and other companies and its promoter, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), is indebted to it to the tune of N12.3 billion.Other companies owned by Babalakin which the bank said are part of the deal are Roygate Properties Limited, Bunbury Limited, Resort International Limited and Homan Engineering Company Limited.
The bank stated that it became imperative to react in view of various enquiries made by different stakeholders who recognise it as an institution founded on the principles of professionalism and integrity.
According to what the bank described as “Summary of Facts” and by its counsel, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), it disclosed that it granted Roygate a total credit facility of N11.5 billion for the purpose of acquiring Homan Engineering Company Limited, a construction company in 2007.It said before advancing the security, it obtained the personal guarantee of Babalakin, the chairman of Roygate, as well as the corporate guarantees of some of his related companies, namely Resort International Limited and Stabilini Visinioni Limited. It added that the facility was also secured with mortgages over landed properties owned by some of Babalakin’s companies, including Stabilini Visinoni Limited.
It stated that following challenges experienced by Roygate and its chairman in meeting payment obligations to it, it was constrained to restructure it in December 2008, by extending the tenure of the facility, as well as deferring some payments in order to accommodate their plea.The bank disclosed that despite the restructuring of the facility, they continued to fail to meet their payment obligations leaving it no option other than to commence recovery action against them.
“As security for the facility advanced to Roygate, the Bank obtained the Personal Guarantee of Dr. Wale Babalakin, the promoter and chairman of Roygate, as well as the corporate guarantees of some of his related companies; namely Resort International Limited and Stabilini Visinoni Limited. The facility was also secured with mortgages over landed properties owned by some of Dr. Babalakin’s companies, including Stabilini Visinoni Limited.
“Following challenges experienced by Roygate and Dr. Wale Babalakin in meeting payment obligations to the Bank under the facility, the Bank was constrained to restructure it in December 2008, by extending the tenure of the facility, as well as deferring some payments in order to accommodate Roygate and Dr. Wale Babalakin’s plea.“Despite the restructure of the facility, Roygate and Dr. Wale Babalakin, however continued to fail to meet their payment obligations under the restructured facility,” it said.
The bank further said: “Following default on the part of Roygate and Dr. Wale Babalakin under the facility, as well as the apparent lack of commitment on the part of Dr. Wale Babalakin towards meeting his obligations, the Bank was left with no option other than to commence recovery action against Roygate and its Guarantors.
“In furtherance of the above, the bank in April 2010, appointed Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), a Receiver over the assets of Homan Engineering, pursuant to an All Assets Debenture. The Bank also instituted an action in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/602/2010 against Dr. Wale Babalakin, Stabilini Visinoni Limited, and Resort International Limited who all guaranteed the facility as primary obligors and not merely as surety.
“Other recovery steps taken by the bank include a winding up petition against Roygate in Suit No FHC/L/CP/605/10 pending at the Federal High Court, as well as actions at the Lagos High Court in Suit No.LD/987/2010 against Stabilini Visinoni Limited and Bunbury Limited to enforce the bank’s security interest. The Bank is also pursuing the recovery of other securities for the facility. All the said cases are pending before the various courts.”
It noted that it was regretful that Babalakin, rather than taking steps to liquidate his indebtedness to it, had chosen to join issues with it, adding that it would explore all avenues within the ambit of the law to recover the total indebtedness from the defendants.However, Legal Adviser to Roygate, G.O Odubote, has issued a statement denying GTBank’s claims.
It read:Ã¢â‚¬Ë†“We have just received the release issued by Mr. Ogunba SAN acting as counsel to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. As legal adviser to Roygate Ltd and other defendants in the various actions before the court, we are compelled most painfully to respond to the statement. We are unaccustomed to debating or arguing issues of law on the pages of newspapers as we believe that once the parties have submitted their matters for judicial resolution, the most appropriate position is to await the verdict of the court. The release made by Mr. Ogunba is inaccurate and can only have the effect of misleading the public about the subject matter.
“We restate our position that no due debt has been established against our company. We have the assurance that if any debt is established against our client, our clients will redeem it. We also should mention that our clients have filed a claim of N25 billion against the bank for the actions of its agent Mr. Kunle Ogunba SAN which we consider completely irreconcilliable with the facts and issues at stake.”