By Ibrahim Saba
Banking Bad boy and Chairman of United bank PLC, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has threatened to drag Abubakar Usman, publisher of Abusidiqu.com, to court for exposing his shady deals and refusal to pull down the story where the shady deals where revealed.
Elumelu, in a letter signed by Kola Awodein acting on behalf of the UBA chief and mailed electronically to the official email address of abusidiqu.com claimed Abusidiqu.com made “untrue, baseless, scandalous and indefensible allegations against him.”
Elumelu, amongst other demands requested that the said publication be removed failure of which a legal cause of action will be instituted at the law court.
Abusidiqu had on the 20th and the 24 of June respectively, published two stories that expose some shady deals Tony Elumelu and the Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA Plc), Phillip Oduoza engaged in to the detriment of the bank.
The first story centred around how Eleumelu, who is the Bank Chairman forced the then Deputy Managing Director, Mr Apollos Ikpobe, who is perceived to be his rival in the bank to resign his position so as to pave way for a smooth use of customers and shareholders deposits.
The second story on the other hand detailed how the Managing Director of the Bank, Phillips Oduoza, used an undercover company to milk the bank in the name of renting properties for the bank’s offices.
Plea from UBA Staff To Pull Down The Story
Few hours after the first story was published on June 20, One Mr. Nasir Ramon, who identified himself as the Head of Media Relations of the Bank put a call through to the publisher of Abusidiqu.com asking that the story be pulled down in exchange for “negotiation,” a request that was promptly turned down. Instead, he was asked to write a rebuttal if the bank or its chairman has any misgivings on the story which will also be given adequate publicity as the original story, but Mr. Ramon for reasons best known to him insisted on having the story pulled down because a rebuttal will cause more harm than good, but this also was rejected.
For the next 2 days, Mr. Ramon kept on calling with the same request to have the story pulled down, but didn’t succeed. Obviously convinced that he could not get our publisher to heed to his request, Mr. Ramon transferred the task to a senior colleague in the bank, Mr. Charles Aigbe, who identified himself as the Head of Corporate Affairs Division of the bank. While Mr. Aigbe did not go beyond the first call after he took over from Mr. Rahmon persistence call, Mr. Ramon on the other hand called for a total of 8 times. Recordings of conversation of both Mr. Ramon and Mr. Aigbe, according to our publisher are available and would be made available when the need demands.
The Threat To Sue And Our Position
With the calls from both staff of UBA believed to be done with, Abusidiqu.com in its quest to continue to expose ills in the society published the second story on June 24 as earlier stated. Since the second story was published, everything went normal until Tuesday, June 21 when we received the mail threatening to sue our publisher.
In the said letter, Mr. Elumelu, code named ‘Bank Cowboy’, who has so many shady deals to his credit some of which we will expose in the days to come, especially with the new government of president Muhammadu Buhari, who is desirous of wiping out corruption from the country is even asking that Abusidiqu.com “refrain from publishing any further and/or similar publications, either by way of articles, reports or comments posted on the website”. We ask, is this because he knows that we have a dossier of his shady deals, many of which date back to his days at STB? If Elumelu and indeed UBA are not guilty of the crime we report, why the desperate call and demand to pull down the story in exchange for a “negotiation”.
We are very confident that If President Muhammadu Buhari decides to open the banking book today to fish out the corporate rogues among them, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) will be topping the list, with Mr Tony Elumelu, the fall guy. As always and a medium that was on the side of the people during the electioneering period that saw to the emergence of Buhari as president to the chagrin of men like Elumelu who pumped in money into fmr. President Jonathan’s campaign hoping that he will win and allow them to continue their nefarious activities, we will be glad to furnish the presidency on what we have on Elumelu and UBA. We are not unaware of the underground moves by Elumelu to get close to the President, especially to protect his interest in several businesses in the country, one of which is the power plant, located in Ughelli, Delta State, which government of former President Jonathan sold to him.
We are also aware of various plans by hackers to shut down our website since we published the story and we can decipher where the dirty job is coming from.
As to the threat to go to court, we have only one word to say. We’ll meet you in court Mr. Eluumelu and UBA.
We are not new to court cases like this, as Kingsley Kuku, fmr special adviser to the immediate past government on Presidential Amnesty had towed this line before when we exclusively exposed his shady deals that saw him planning to own an airline decided to take us to court. The end result of that case is in the public domain.
To God and to Country do we owe our services, not dubious men like Elumelu and his milking UBA.
Stay tuned for series of expose on the bank and operators…