The chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Babatunde Lemo and the two other prominent shareholders are likely to forfeit their shares in both Titan Trust Bank and Union Bankfollowing their refusal to honour the December 28th invitation to them by
The trio were via a December 24th letter invited to appear beforeDecember for a follow-up meeting on the investigation of the two banks.
However, a December 27th letter from their counsel,by InsideBusinessNG, excused the trio from the December 28th meeting, citing their absence from the country.
G-Elias in the letter signed by Gbolahan Elias said the trio of Babatunde Lemo, Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara are away from the country and cannot return to Nigeria before the second weekJanuary 2024.
Following this, the office of the Special Investigator has threatened to trigger the conditions in the December 24th letter referenced CR:3000/TSI/ABJ/Vol.1/69 which warned that they would forfeit their shares in the two banks if they failed to honour the December 28th invitation and provide/defend the documents requested.
“Kindly note that if Messrs. Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara refuse to attend this meeting and provide/defend the requested documents/information, it will be construed that they have decided to forfeit their purportedin TTB and Union Bank of irrespective of which are using to own the purported shares”.
Click to read: Elohor’s Letter To Lemo, Savara, and Vink
“Should you (Lemo) also refuse to attend the meeting tostatement to your earlier statement made in August 2023, it will be construed that you misled the Nigerian public with your reaction in the Punch Newspapers which has gained wide publicity in both electronic and print media”, stated the December 24th invitation to the trio of Lemo, Savara and Vinks.
The trio were requested to appear with the documentation that led to the licensing of Titan Trust Bank and the acquisition of controlling shareholding of Union Bank of Nigeria by Luxis and Magna, proof of funds, international verifiable bank statements (From the incorporation of the entities to date) and the shareholders that gave interest-free loans to the two entities separately (name, nationality,of the proof of such funds, bank statements) as well as the relationship of the entities with Andrew Chukwudi Ojei, Jerome Olagunju Shogbon, Rahul Savara, Winston Odeh, Adaeze Udensi, Ekene Samuel Loius, Godwin Emefiele, Macombe Omoile, Tunde Lemo, Mudasir Amry, Faruk Gumel, Oluremi Oni, Vink Corporation Middle East FCZ (together with the details of the that also gave Vink Corporation interest-free loan.
They are also to provide details of how Trust receipts from (Standard Chartered Bank), Zenith Nigeria Plc, and Zenith Bank (UK) were involved in the entire arrangement and also, the minutes of the board meetings, copy of the audited financial statements and management letter that arose from the audit of the financial statements of the two entities listed in (1) above as well as those of TTB and UBN from 2018 to date.
Click to read: Letter from Union Bank
Lemo with the two shareholders are also to provide the details of any forbearance received from the CBN for UBN (before acquisition by TTB) and why. If you do not know, you should also come along with anyone who knows about it (with evidence), andthe details of the loan capital from Afreximbank (Egypt), collaterals thereto and the involvement of the CBN in the entire arrangement.
Also requested are the details of any foreign exchange dealingswith the CBN as retail or wholesale or facilitator with TGI, TTB, Luxis, Magna and other related entities, no matter how remotely connected and also, any other documents that can assist the Special Investigator in arriving at an informed decision on the investigation of TTB, UBN, CBN and any person of interest in the entire arrangement.
However, their Counsel in the letter entitled,CBN Investigation Activities: Invitation for a Follow-Up Meeting With the Special Investigator” on Wednesday stated, “We trust this letter meets We are lawyers for Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank plc. We respectfully instructions to write this letter in respect of the in your letter to TTB dated December 23, 2023.
“Unfortunately, both Mr Tunde Lemo and the two largest ultimate investors in the(Mr. Cornelius and Rahul Savara) are away from Nigeria at the moment for family and other reasons. That is typically at this time of the They are not due to be in Nigeria before the second week January 2024. They will honour the fully soon after they come in”, stated Elias.
“With regard to the information requested, which we submitted earlier on 1st September 2023 at the DSS HQ as evidenced in Annex 1 therewith, we will resubmit the information tomorrow for your kind review. The individual invitees and the banks re-iterate their willingness and readiness to cooperate with your good selves in your important work”, stated Elias who said furtherdirected to the law firm.
The Office of the Special Investigator said the excuse by Lemo, Vink and Savara through their counsel is untenable as it is a way to obstruct
In a December 27th replyCR:3000/TSI/ABJ/Vol.1/71 to Lemo through the Acting Managing Director of Titan Trust the Head of Operation, Office of the Special Investigator, Elohor Okpoziakpo noted that “I am directed to inform you that the Special Investigator is fully aware that you are in the United Kingdom to celebrate your birthday. This, you the Special Investigator when you agreed to attend a for December also proposed that Mr Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara be given seven days (7 days) to prove their purported ownership of Titan and Trust Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria or forfeit their shares to the federal government.
Eloho continued in the letter entitled, Re: CBN Investigation Activities, Invitation For Follow-Up Meeting With The Special Investigator”, ” I want to put it on record that neither you (Babatunde Lemo) nor Cornelius Vink nor Rahul Savara ever submitted any of these requested documents to the investigating teamof State Service (DSS) or anywhere else before now. In fact, Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara have never presented themselves to the Special Investigator since the 28th of August when they were first invited for an interview”.
Furthermore, the Head of Operations warned that documents submitted through proxies shall not be accepted as Mr Cornelius Vink, Rahul Savara and Lemo will be requested to speak to whatever documents/information you present during the meeting.
In addition, he stated, “Consequently, I am to further inform you that your invitation to appear before the Special Investigator on 28th December 2023 by 2 pm prompt in respect of the matter under investigation and for which you had earlierstands”, warning that the conditions paragraphs 6 to 8 in earlier letter of December 24th effective and shall be triggered if you or Messrs Vink and Savara fail to attend the meeting as scheduled.