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Debt List: Arthur Eze Demands N200 Billion from Wema Bank  for Alleged Defamation

By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu – Anambra state born business mogul and  philanthropist, Engr. Arthur Eze, has demanded the sum of N200 billion naira from management of WemaBank Plc to assuage the damage he suffered on account of the false and defamatory publication of his personality.

The Bank, had recently published the photograph of Eze, among its debtors in a  national daily on August 7, 2015.

He also demanded the sum of N200 billion from the management of the national newspaper, Punch Nigeria Limited, within seven days for publishing and circulating the said “highly defamatory and injurious falsehood”

The publication, portrayed Eze, among the directors of a debtor company,Genesis Electricity Ltd which is owing Wema Bank Plc the sum of N136.93 million.

Prince Eze, who wrote the bank and the media organization through his counsel, Chief G. Tagbo Ike of Ike, Ike & Associates, whose office is located at No. 9 Ogui Road, Enugu, said that the contentious publication captioned “Arthur Eze’s firm among Wema Bank loan defaulters” and published along with his photograph was totally false and untrue.

According to the lawyer, Eze had nothing to do with the alleged debtor company.

The letters dated August 7, 2015 copies of which were obtained by Journalists in Enugu on sunday, read: “It is our instruction that on 7th day of August 2015 you caused to be published and circulated in a daily newspaper, “The Punch”, a highly defamatory and injurious falsehood to the effect that our client is amongst the debtors of a debtor company, Genesis Electricity Ltd, which owes your bank the sum of N136.93 million.

“To bring home to the reading public, you caused the said publication to be made, along with the photograph of our client inserted in the most conspicuous front-page of the said newspaper.

“In the said publication, you put up a screaming headline on the front cover of the said publication to wit “Arthur Eze’s firm among Wema bank loan defaulters”.  

“The details were contained at page 25 of the said publication, to these effect:

“Genesis Electricity Limited, a firm in which a business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze, is listed among its directors, is said to owe WemaBank Plc the sum of N136.93m, according to the list of delinquent debtors published by the bank on Friday (today)”

Continuing, Ike stated that “the said publication is as fallacious as it is utterly false and untrue “as our client has nothing to do with the alleged debtor company Genesis Electricity Limited.

” Indeed our client is neither a shareholder, nor a director of the said company.  

“It is obvious that you deliberately set out on a mission to unleash public opprobrium on him, defame and ridicule our client before the public, the State and Federal Governments of Nigeria, and indeed the international community and cause them to shun and distance themselves from him.

“To assuage your libelous publication and defamation of our client, we demand payment of the sum of two hundred billion naira only (200,000,000,000.00) to this chambers within 7 days of the date of this letter,along with publication of our retraction and public apology inserted in at least, three (3) national dailies, one of which shall be in the Punch newspaper,and given equal prominence, like the offensive publication.

” In default of your compliance as herein before demanded, we shall surely as the night follows the day seek legal redress against you, along with your collaborator, The Punch newspaper.” the letter concluded.


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