Sterling Bank Sues Calabar Cleric Over Loan Default

Sterling Bank Plc has sued Calabar based gospel minister, Bishop Josef Bassey and three others for defaulting in the payment of a loan facility obtained from the bank.
Those included in the suit in which Bassey is the 1st defendant are Mrs. Grace Joseph Bassey, Pastor Edet Etim as well as Excellers Group Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited as 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.
In a suit filed at the High Court Holden in Calabar on the December 18, 2013, with suit No: HC/1154/2013, the plaintiff stated that the 1st defendant sometime in March 2008 used the 4th defendant (Excellers Group) to apply for loan facility from Equatorial Trust Plc now Sterling Bank Plc, adding that Bassey did so in his capacity as chairman of the 4th defendant.
The claimant averred that “a loan of N9m was granted to the 4th defendant, 1st and 3rd defendants (Pastor Edet Etim) who were guarantors for the loan.”
In a writ of summons endorsed by the claimant’s solicitor, Mr. Onyebuchi Nzewi of E. Nelson-Iyoho Associates, the applicant claimed “10 per cent interest on the judgment sum until same is liquidated.”
The writ read in part, “A declaration that the claimant is entitled to recover the outstanding loan facility of N11, 77,756.12 made of principal sum and interest granted to the 4th defendant upon the application of the 1st defendant.
“An order lifting the veil of incorporation of the 4th defendant under these circumstances of fraudulent dealings to make her promoters and officers equally liable to pay Claimant’s loan facility.”
However when the matter came up, the claimant sought for a transfer of the case from High Court No. 2 Calabar presided over by Justice Michael Edem to any other court for trail.
The claimant, which based it request for a transfer of the case to another court of competent jurisdiction, said the action was intended to ensure fair hearing in the case.
A statement obtained from the Claimant’s solicitor with a transfer of suit No: HC/454/14, read “Sterling Bank has applied for transfer of their loan recovery suit against one Bishop Josef Bassey, and others from High Court No.2 Calabar presided over by Justice Michael Edem to any other Court for trial”.
According to an application to the Chief Judge of Cross River, Justice Okoi Itam, dated 4/11/2014, “the bank cites grounds of bias, fairness, high handedness and insistence on hearing the loan recovery case in secret chambers of the judge contrary to the contention of the bank”.
Meanwhile, the 1st defendant, Bishop Josef Bassey who is the presiding pastor of God’s Heritage church, has denied some of the allegations leveled against him, noting that the onus lies on the claimant to properly identify him and proof his culpability”.
In a defense statement signed by his Counsel, Rekana Owan of  LexFori Partners, he said paragraph 3 which states that “1st defendants is the one also referred to as Bishop Joseph Bassey or Dr. Josef Praise Bassey” is denied. The 1st defendant is only known as Josef Praise Bassey, sometimes with or without the titles Bishop or Dr.”
“The first defendant does not spell his name as Joseph and is thus not the same person as Joseph Bassey. The claimant is put to the strictest proof of the averments contained therein”, it added.
On its part, Exceller Group in a letter signed by Josef Bassey and dated march 26, 2008, said, “we request for a facility of N10 million only for use as a turnaround capital for use by our society. The said facility will be used for disbursement to our members in their various businesses”
The suit for the transfer of the matter was adjourned to November 17, 2014 for ruling.
Source: Punch

Click to comment

Share your thought

Contact us for this space NGHHP


Discover more from Naija Gospel

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading