Date Published: 10/20/09
If I were one of the bank debtors By Mohammed Ali Jnr.
If I were one of the bank debtors whose names were just being released by the Apex bank, I wll emulate the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Atiku in his characteristic manner owned up to the fact that he owes the said money and promised to pay as soon as he reconciles with the bank. He went further to advance reasons to why he had not honoured his obligation to Spring Bank. According to him, it was an old dormant account to which his attention has not been drawn by any of his staff.
Taking into consideration the meagre sum involved, I will want to believe Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that he did not mean to defraud the bank. Many of Atiku’s loyalists could have offset the loan if his account were to be in red. In any case, Atiku is one of the most successful businessmen in the country today that still have everything going for them. I also believe that if Atiku meant to defraud the bank, it would have been in billions of naira and not a few millions.
However, the issue is that of sincerity instead of denying the obvious. The other time, some of the debtors spent thousands of naira on advertorial denying their involvement in the saga, yet they were busy paying back in order to beat the EFCC deadline. Some said the amount written against their names was in excess of what they owe. Is that supposed to be an issue in the present circumstance? Methinks any right thinking man, once he accepts his indebtedness, would reconcile the accounts with his bank and clear the debt instead of making empty noise.
Afterall, Atiku’s debt was a loan of N10m taken about ten years ago that has accumulated to over N100m. Atiku Abubakar has not said his indebtedness is just N10m. If it were to be a gain on the part of the debtors would they have allowed anybody to know about it? Arrant nonsense, as Gani Fawehinmi would have said.
The other issue is that some of the debtors are hiding under the canopy of legal entity to deny involvement. In other words, if company Y is found wanting, Mr. X who is director of company Y should not be held liable. We all know this. But this is an acceptable norm only in saner societies. We all know how businesses are being run here. Come to think of it, what is the difference between Albakar Airline and Marwa, Obasanjo and Obasanjo Farms, Globacom and Adenuga, Uzor Kalu and Slok Air? Etc. If the debtors think they can commit fraud under the canopy of their companies, judgment day has come.
My advice to the debtors is that they should commence efforts to pay off as soon as possible. This is a new era. Sanusi means business and I believe that the president is behind him. And the masses are with him too.
Mohammed Ali Jnr.
Plot 225, Golf Course Close