Zenith Bank Plc, Imo Govt, In Complicity Of Fraud, Lying On Oath, Disobedience Of Court Orders, As Sealing Of Branches Enters Second Day

Imo State Customers Move To Other Banks

By The Nigerian Voice

As the total sealing of all Zenith Bank branches in Imo State enters into its second day, it has been authoritatively revealed that the bank's defiance to Court order, intentionally lying on oat aimed at derailing the judgement of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has weighed heavily on the fortunes of the bank in Imo State.

More disturbing facts have emerged, establishing the alliance of Zenith bank Plc with Imo State government to flout the Order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria which led to the sealing of all Zenith Bank Branches in Owerri and other towns.

Recall that Owerri residents had woken up on Thursday morning to be thrown into untold hardship, confusion, and stranded following the sealing of the Bank’s branches in Owerri and its environs.

It all started when Zenith bank lied on oath, aligning with Imo State Government to deny the National Industrial Court's Judgement Creditor, Prince Eze Madumere the benefits of his judgment.

In a twist of complicity, the account numbers belonging to the judgment debtor/respondent in the Zenith bank were denied by the Zenith bank Plc under oath. It was speculated that the bank had colluded with the state government to move most of the money to another account.

Zenith Bank had filed a 14 paragraphed affidavit of cause on 23rd November 2021 and deposed in the same that accounts numbers 1013118920 and 1017415829 does not exist in its database but the other two accounts – 1013197705 and 1017415788 do exist. The bank had also claimed that the last two accounts contain a balance of N42, 116.37k purportedly at the time, an account which at the time of the order nisi was served contained. The second 1013197705 allegedly contained a negative balance of N18, 035, 728, 347.07 DR. Zenith thus attached 2 statements of loan accounts as exhibits C and D to its affidavit.

According to the judgment, Zenith bank had allegedly and tacitly made a frantic effort to show cause why it should not be further burdened with a debt as the state government isallegedly heavily indebted to the bank.

Contrary to zenith bank’s claims, in its counter-affidavit, the judgment creditor, Prince Eze Madumere denied all depositions made by Zenith Bank Plc and stated as follows;

That account number 1017415829 is owned by the judgment debtor, Imo state government named “Imo Prosperity Account” and the same is in the custody of the bank contrary to its denial that it does not exist;

That account number 1013197705 had a credit balance of N329, 283, 717.56 whereas account number 1017415788 had N4, 602, 042, 116.37 at the time of granting the order nisi.

Prince Madumere’s legal team insists that the State is never indebted to the Bank but rather the bank owed the State when it was caught inappropriately and dubiously surcharging and levying the State billions of Naira against the State accounts. In his affidavit, it was explained that Zenith bank Plc struck a compromise as the former refunded the sum of N3 billion to the State Government.

According to its action, Zenith Bank’s explanation is inexcusably a ploy to withhold vital information with a view to frustrating Prince Eze Madumere who is genuinely seeking to recover his entitlements, having served the State with the highest level of patriotism.

According to an Owerri-based legal practitioner, Iheanacho, the action of Zenith bank Plc is not only reprehensible but an act of irresponsibility for a bank that has won many laurels locally and internationally.

He called for a thorough probe into the activities of the Bank to ascertain that it does abuse and violate the public trust.

He bemoaned its action by aligning with the State government leading to the suffering of the people of Imo State, calling on the management of the bank to obey Court Order otherwise, the Federal Government should take over the bank in trust for the public.

Meanwhile, National Industrial Court had granted Order Absolute against the Garnishee on May 27, 2022, after the State Government had blatantly refused to explore the settlement.

In his explanations, Barr. Kalu Uduma said that Zenith Bank as the custodian of the Judgment debtor’s fund is palpable anxiety in Owerri, the Capital Territory of Imo State over the sealing of the Zenith Bank Branches in Imo by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

Prince Madumere, the former deputy governor of Imo State after a high court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Owerri presided by Justice Benjamin Iheka on September 25, 2018, declared his purported impeachment null and void, in 2019, approached the court and instituted a legal action to recover the arrears of unpaid entitlements.

In 2021, the National Industrial Court ruled in his favour, ordering the government of Imo State to pay him.

Rather than diligently truthfully exploring the opportunity granted it to settle out of court with Madumere, it became a platform for some people to sharpen their deceitful acts as they kept tossing him and his legal team.

As reported in the affidavit, since the judgment and application for Order Absolute against the garnishee, for months the State government turned Madumere into an object of ridicule.

In a reaction to the sealing of all Branches of Zenith Bank Plc in Imo State, the State government through the Chief Press Secretary to the governor waved the crisis, stating that an apeal against the judgement has been instituted by the state government. He requested the bank to open it's doors to customers. However, as at the time of filling this report: 07:48 am, there was no sign of unsealing any of the branches. The State government's statement was dismissed by the legal team of Prince Eze Madumere, describing it as lacking in legal knowledge and deficient in knowledge. The Statement is attached below:

The last may not have been heard about the crisis as Imo State customers of Zenith Bank are moving en masse to seek for succour in other banks.