By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Earlier this month, First Bank Nigeria reacted to media reports that its officials forged signatures of late Arisekola Alao and that of his son, Ismaila, on the Deed of Guarantee of Lister Oil limited, owned by the late Ibadan-based businessman.
First Bank had in a statement described the reports as not only false, but a deliberate attempt to tint the facts.
But weeks later, Lister Oil has reacted to the issue, maintaining that the bank officials tampered with the said documents.
In a statement issued Saturday, September 24, 2016, by counsel to Lister Oil Limited, M.A. Banire & Associates, which was made available to Business Post, the company emphasised that the bank is trying to mislead the public on the issue.
M.A. Banire & Associates admitted that the matter was already in court because First Bank had tried to hijack “Lister Oil Limited’s tank farm without cause and without a pending valid order of court.”
It also said the police have already “established a prima facie case of forgery of the signature on the purported deed of guarantee.”
“The attention of the management of Lister Oil Limited and the Estate of Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao has been drawn to a report, published in the Daily Post Newspaper Publication of September 7, 2016.
“In the report, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is credited with saying that Lister Oil Limited and the Estate of Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao are First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s debtors who are employing media tactics to scuttle the bank’s debt recovery efforts.
“Although Lister Oil Limited is currently in court with First Bank of Nigeria over the bank’s hijacking of Lister Oil Limited’s tank farm without cause and without a pending valid order of court, it is imperative to notify the general public that First Bank of Nigeria Limited has never granted any banking facility to either Lister Oil Limited or the Estate of Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao.
“Also, Lister Oil Limited and the Estate of Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao did not execute any deed of guarantee in favour of First Bank of Nigeria as alleged by the bank.
“Contrary to the denial issued by First Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Police Force has recently established a prima facie case of forgery of the signature on the purported deed of guarantee, which emanated from First Bank of Nigeria purportedly to guarantee a facility granted to Lister Flour Mills Limited, a company that is distinct from Lister Oil Limited.
“Therefore, it is untrue that the allegations of forgery perpetrated against Lister Oil Limited by the Bank and its officials are baseless.
“This release is essentially to correct the misleading information being peddled by the Bank and set the record straight,” the law firm said.