ROMANIAN DIPLOMAT IN FINANCIAL MESS
A Romanian diplomat, Mr. Mavrodin Eduard, is currently on the run over alleged financial scandal to the tune of N7.6 million. Eduard who is a staffer of the Embassy in Abuja is alleged to have borrowed N1million from a Nigerian friend and businessman, Mr. Nicholas Uzor, of The Basement Lounge, Wuse II, Abuja, on September 16, 2009, with the promise to repay it, with interest, by December 31st of same year.
The money was allegedly to enable Eduard to facilitate the clearing of his car at Apapa Wharf. The diplomat, who deposited his Romanian Passport (No: 059653) with the businessman as collateral, also undertook to pay Mr. Uzor a monthly interest of N150, 000 for the three months that the loan would last.
Eduard, who collected the money via United Bank for Africa (UBA) cheque No. 27415562 dated 16th September, 2009 for N250, 0000 and Zenith Bank Cheque No. 46278451 for N750, 000 also dated 16th September, 2009,
however, failed to either pay the loan or the monthly interest as formally agreed upon between him and Mr. Uzor.
Following his surreptitious departure from Nigeria, allegedly using an illegal passport, Mr. Uzor reported the matter to the Romanian Ambassador to Nigeria, via a formal Letter of Complaint, on December 23, 2009.
When the ambassador failed to act, the victim contacted his lawyers, Hardy Chude Akus of Akus and Co, who also formally wrote to the Ambassador on 30th September, 2010. Records made available to Daily Sun indicate that by this date, the principal and interest had climbed to N1.9million as according to the terms of agreement signed between Messrs. Eduard and Uzor, any month he defaulted on the payment of the N150, 000 interest, the interest doubled for that month.
It was further learnt that rather than pay Mr. Uzor the entire N1.9 million or even the N1million principal, the Romanian Ambassador, His Excellency, Marian Parjol, using subtlety, took back the Romanian Passport on 29th December under the pretext of using it to facilitate the payment of the loan. As Uzor told Daily Sun: 'Since signing and collecting the passport on that December 23, it has been one story after another. And now, the money has climbed to N7.6million because this is the 22nd month.'
He further told our reporter: 'I have written to them, my lawyer has written to them without success; I even took the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs without show.' 'Now, I am taking my case to the media. If after this nothing happens, I will mobilise my kinsmen and we will go and picket the embassy. NTA will carry it. So also AIT. Me - I must get back my money. I need it to help myself and my family,' he added.
Documents made available to Daily Sun by Uzor's lawyers, Hardy Chude Akus (Esq.) of Akus and Co, Suite 45, DansVille Plaza, Gudu District, Abuja, included: Letter of Agreement, marked 'A', and dated 16th September, 2009; a photocopy of the diplomat's passport, marked 'B'; Letter of Complaint to the Romanian Ambassador, Marked 'C', and dated December 23, 2009; an acknowledgement note from the Romanian Ambassador, duly signed by HE, Marian Parjol (in his official capacity as Romanian Ambassador), and Nicholas Uzor. It is marked 'D'. While it shows its number as 059653, it also indicates that it was issued on 15th march, 2007
There is also another attached document, marked 'E' and dated 30th September, 2010, which is a letter from Uzor's lawyers.
The handwritten agreement, simply entitled Letter of Agreement, reads: 'An agreement has been made today being 16th September, 2009 between Mr. Nicholas Uzor of No. 16, Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria and Mr. Mavrodin Eduard of Cetatean Roman, the owner of International Passport No. 059653.
'That the sum of N1,000,000 (one million Naira) which I Mr. Nicholas Uzor lent Mr. Mavrodin Eduard through Cheque Numbers 46278451 and 27415562 of Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa plc respectively must be repaid by Mr. Mavrodin Eduard in the following ways;
i) N150, 000 (One hundred and fifty Thousand Naira) to be paid on 16th October, 2009.
ii) N150, 000 (One hundred and fifty Thousand Naira) to be paid on 16th November, 2009
iii) N150, 000 (One hundred and fifty Thousand Naira) to be paid on 16th December, 2009.
That failure by Mr. Mavrodin Eduard to pay as specified above in any month will warrant him to pay twice the amount for that month.
That I Mr. Nicholas Uzor can use any means I choose to (legally or illegally) to recover my money if Mr. Mavrodin Eduard fails to pay as agreed. The above has been signed and agreed by me:
Mr. Mavrodin Eduard and Mr. Nicholas Uzor.
Even though the letter from Mr. Uzor's lawyer to the Romanian Ambassador, dated 30th September, 2010, anticipated 'a prompt and positive response,' reading in part that: 'We firmly believe that the embassy and people of Romania are not fraudulent and do not condone fraud,' nothing concrete has happened since then.
Uzor, who lamented how his capital has been tied up ever since further told Daily Sun: 'Fed up, I now told my lawyer to write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he did that on 1st December, 2010. But again, we met a brick wall.'
The letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister, copied The Director/Head, Consular Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, was receipted on 2nd December, 2010 in the office of the Honourable Minister.
Repeated visits by Daily Sun to the Ministry to find out about the progress on the matter proved abortive. While the Director in question was always said to be 'out,' efforts to reach the minister equally probed fruitless.