Atlas Microfinance Bank Limited, through its agent De-Bongos International Ltd both operating in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has threatened to sue the 2015 All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Umana Okon Umana, over alleged N14m debt.
The bank, through its agent, claimed that Obong Umana had secured the loans facility with a 20 percent monthly interest on it to finance his governorship election campaigns.
In a demand/pre-action notice served to the former Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government and current Oil and Gas Free Zone
Authority, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Obong Umana, signed by Leo Ekpenyong,
a Principal Solicitor with Leo Ekpenyong &Co, law firm, De-Bongos International Ltd sought repayment within 14 days failure which it said it would resort to the court for justice.
“It is worthy of note that despite repeated entreaties to you to honour your agreement and defray your debt in full, you have defied
wise counsel. Without doubt, you have represented to our client, thereputation of “a treacherous and dishonourable man,’” the law firm said.
According to the law firm, Obong Umana had sought the soft loan facility through a guarantor, Mr Sam Frank, the current Commissioner
representing Akwa Ibom State in the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
The firm said it had through demand/ pre-action notices pleaded with Obong Umana, through his guarantor Mr Frank, to defray the debt but
regretted that rather than paying the full amount due the bank, Oblong Umana had opted to pay only N50m.
Te bank said following repeated failed entreaties, it may have to seek redress in a court of law in order to recover the loans, it said was drawn from deposits from the poor masses.
However, in a swift reaction, Obong Umana’s guarantor, Sam Frank, admitted to the deal, but insisted that the former Governorship
candidate does not owe the bank a dime.
“It is true that we sought loan facility worth N14 and I signed for Obong Umana. However, Leo Ekpenyong, who represented De-Bongos
International Ltd, took N7m at point of delivery or from source on the grounds that he wanted to buy a Hilux bus to support the election campaign. I did not collect a dime.
“We think it is only fair for him to pay half of the loan since he collected N7m at the point of delivery. You can’t eat your cake and yet have it.
“On his part, Obong Umana, who cherishes his integrity and is a man of repute, has paid N50m. Besides, he (Ekpenyong) should pay the
remaining interest,” he said noting that it is an attempt to dent the good name of Obong Umana.
“What he is doing is not strange. He has already taken the matter to social media,” Frank said noting that he was aware that the firm had approached Obong Umana’s lawyers who had responded accordingly.