Abuja, Nigeria – Billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Prince Arthur Eze, has faulted Senator Andy Uba’s denial, insisting that he gave the former senator a N50 million loan, which was not repaid, hence he want to get a court judgment, in a bid to recover the money.
In an earlier judgement by Anambra State High on March 6, 2017, in a suit filed by Oranto Petroleum Limited against Senator Uba, Justice C.N Mbonu Nwenyi held that the defendant (Senator Uba) had not denied that he received an interest free loan from the plaintiff (Oranto Petroleum owned by Prince Eze.
The judge held that having gone through the statement of defence, the defendant had not disclosed any good defence to the suit and in such circumstance the plaintiff was entitled to the judgment.
Justice Mbonu Nwenyi had ruled” “The Plaintiff has sufficiently shown that she granted interest free friendly loan to the defendant which has not been denied and since have not been repaid.”
Oranto Petroleum had gone to the FCT High Court with a motion exparte on May 5, 2022 to ask for an order for the execution of the judgment. It subsequently got a nod of the court on June 30, 2022 “to register the certificate of judgment of the High Court of Anambra State in the Aguata Judicial Division holden at Ekwulobia and delivered by Hon. (Justice) C.N. Mbonu-Nwenyi on the 6th day of March, 2017 in suit no. AG/94/2016: Oranto Petroleum Ltd Vs Senator Nnamdi Emmanuel Andy Uba as the judgment of this Court;
an order of this Honourable Court deeming the judgment of the High Court of Anambra State in the Judicial Division holden at Ekwulobia and delivered by Hon. (Justice) C.N. Mbonu-Nwenyi on the 6th day of March, 2017 in suit no. AG/94/2016: Oranto Petroleum Ltd Vs Senator Nnamdi Emmanuel Andy Uba as the judgment of this Court is hereby granted; an order of the Honourable Court directing the cost of the registration and execution of the judgment to be recoverable from the Defendant/Judgment Debtor/Respondent to an amount assessed by the Court in the circumstances of this case is hereby granted.”
The execution order was eventually carried out on August 23, 2022, with FCT High Court officials and the police storming the Abuja home of Senator Uba and seizing three vehicles.
Reacting to this, Senator Uba had denied obtaining a loan from Oranto Petroleum or Prince Eze, saying the money in question was a donation to his political campaign in 2015.
A statement by him said: “For the avoidance of doubt, I never borrowed N50 million from Prince Arthur Eze. Both of us only attended church service at St. James Anglican Church, Uga, during my senatorial campaign in the build-up to 2015 general election.
“In the course of the said church service, Prince Arthur Eze donated N50 million to support my senatorial political campaign on the alter and the entire congregation was erupted with joy and happiness, which made the officiating priest extend a warm handshake of the gratitude and appreciation for this kind gesture and I equally sent a letter of appreciation dated 22/2/2015 to Prince Arthur Eze.
“I was dumbfounded, surprised and flabbergasted having learnt that my bosom friend and brother, had, through his company, Oranto Petroleum Limited, through which the said cheque of N50m was drawn had filed an action one year after at the High Court of Anambra State, Aguata division sitting at Ekwulobia in suit No: AG/94/2016, through what they called (undefended list) Procedure or liquidated money demand or summary judgment procedure.
“The pertinent question on the lips of many people would be, do people go to the rooftops to praise or thank others for granting them loan facilities? How many people have you seen that secured a loan facility from a bank or an individual and went to church praising the creditor for granting them such a loan facility which would only be repaid?”
Senator Uba stated that he had appealed the judgement against him, but withdrew the case following “an intervention by some Anambra stakeholders and I was approached by Prince Austin Ndigwe (Uzu-Awka) who is a mutual friend of myself and Prince Arthur Eze for an amicable settlement of the matter out of court.”
Apparently trying to answer Senator Uba’s questions, the principal media consultant to Oranto Petroleum and Prince Eze, Chief Oliver Okpala, in a statement yesterday, said: “It is on record that Prince Arthur Eze was a guest of the church, St. James Anglican Church, Uga, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State, which Senator Uba is now using as a ploy, during their thanksgiving ceremony. Senator Uba, as an indigene of the place, was also at the occasion. Prince Arthur Eze made a donation to the church in the presence of Senator Uba. Now that he is embattled, he wants to manipulate the minds of the public, by claiming that the loan he took is part of the donation Prince Eze made to the church.
“This was a loan that was given to him in Prince Eze’s house and not at the church, via a cheque issued through Oranto Petroleum Ltd.’s account- Prince Eze’s company. Senator Uba’ s name was written on the cheque. If it was a donation to the church as now being claimed by Uba, why was the cheque issued in his name? If it was a donation to the church, why was Senator Uba the one who went to withdraw the money and kept it for himself without giving it to the church?
“It should be noted that the cheque was issued to him in February and he withdrew the money that same month, while the Thanksgiving Ceremony took place in April. Senator Uba should tell the world the nexus between these two months regarding the loan he took. Do people who want to make donations to a political campaign have to go to the church to make such donations? Is the church a political play ground or a field for holding political rallies?”