The Executive Chairman of Bond Investments & Holdings Ltd., Chief Olabode Mustapha, has given Ogun State government seven-day ultimatum within which to retract alleged defamatory statement made against him or face legal action.

The ultimatum was handed down to the Ogun State government through the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Adewale Oshinowo.

Chief Mustapha is demanding payment from the State Government for the services he claimed to have rendered through his firm on the Paris Club Refund and is yet to be paid, which the finance commissioner denied owing the company.

The Egba High Chief frowned at a press release by the commissioner titled “PARIS CLUB REFUND: We Do Not Owe Bode Mustapha’s Consultancy Firm – Ogun Govt” dated 16th May, 2019 and additional statements made by him to the press on the same date.

In his letter dated 17th May, 2019 and addressed to the commissioner, Chief Mustapha stated that “The following statements in particular were a baseless and unfounded defamatory attack on us and our esteemed Chairman, Chief Bode Mustapha:

1. “Ogun State indigenes should be on their guard, as regards the finances of the State, as some unconscionable politicians will do everythina possible to recoup their investment in the last Governorship election from the public till”;

2.     “The sudden resurrection of (sic) 2009 purported contract, was a premeditated action, designed to scam the State Government under the guise of an anticipated arbitration judgment. The Amosun Government will not be a party to this orchestrated scheme to swindle the State.

“The foregoing comments, which reflect the entirety of your Statements, are false, baseless and wholly defamatory against our character and that of our esteemed Chairman.”

“We therefore DEMAND that you retract the above statements and publish a written apology regarding same in at least two national daily newspapers within 7 days of your receipt of this letter.

“Should you fail to comply with our demand we shall be left with no other recourse than to approach a court of law to obtain the appropriate legal remedies, including significant damages not only against the Ogun State Government but yourself personally.”

Insisting that the demand for payment was genuine, he tendered two letters to back up his claims. One was by the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Finance to his company, while the second one was by the Commissioner to The Director General, Debt Management Office, Abuja.

The full text of Chief Mustapha’s letter reads thus:

17th May, 2019

Mr Adewale Oshinowo

Hon. Commissioner

Ogun State Ministry of Finance State Secretariat, Abeokuta.

We refer to the press release titled “PARIS CLUB REFUND: We Do Not Owe Bode Mustapha’s Consultancy Firm – Ogun Govt” dated 16th May, 2019 and your additional statements to the press on the same date (your Statements).

We are constrained to write to you to express our sincere disappointment at your Statements and the outright lies, both by commission and omission, contained therein. Given that you qualified your comments by stating that same were “based on the facts available”, we hereby use this opportunity to refresh your memory regarding some additional and pertinent facts you may have forgotten either deliberately or otherwise.

It may be necessary to refresh your memory on the fact that we were granted periodic extensions to the original agreement with the final extension granted vide a letter Ref: DMU/012/102 dated 22nd April, 2011, from the office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance for a I-year period. Find attached as Annexure I.

Contrary to the unfounded assertions that characterized your Statements, we did indeed have a contract with the Ogun State Government during the term of which we undertook several activities to identify, and facilitate recovery of, excess charges/deductions in relation to Ogun State’s foreign and multilateral loans.

The activities included a forensic audit as well as liaising with key officials of the Debt Management Office (DMO) and Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) for them to acknowledge and initiate the process for payment of the refund. It was these activities that directly resulted in the eventual payment to Ogun State of a refund on excess deductions related to the State’s Paris Club loans.

We did indeed also receive your termination letter dated the 15th of November, 2011, which was almost two years after the initial agreement was signed  contradicting your comments that the agreement between the parties was purportedly only for a term of 80 days. However, we neither acknowledged nor responded to said letter given that there was an extension in place granted by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance that only lapsed on 21st April, 2012. By this point we had already completed our work on the recovery although our commission had not yet become due as the State Government had yet to receive the refund.

We are aware that on 1st November 2016 a letter from the Ogun State Ministry of Finance (signed by your good self) was sent to the DMO and copied to the FMF (your Letter).

In your Letter the Ogun State Government referred to a letter written by us, dated the 16th March, 2010, to the DMO (our Letter) some of the contents of which you referred to in your Letter as follows:

“Under the Multilateral loans, the State’s external debt stock was overstated from year 2002 to 2008 to the tune of USD 14,513,586.87 and also the sum of $44, 151, 872.13 was presented as the cumulative sum over-deducted from Ogun State Revenue” and that the claim – that we submitted on behalf of Ogun State – was (at that point) yet to be refunded to the State.

Our Letter, to which you unambiguously referred and on which you unequivocally relied, was a submission to the DMO of the findings of our investigations and forensic audit into the outstanding amounts owed to the State for excess deductions on its foreign loans (Paris Club Loan included) and a claim for payment of the refunds due to the State based on our findings. Please refer to Annexure 2 above.

It is thus without doubt that the claim we submitted to the DMO on behalf of Ogun State was the basis on which the Ogun State Government received the refund payment.

It is also pertinent to note that our Letter (and the activities we undertook that culminated in same) was well within the term of the Consultancy Agreement dated 23rd December 2009 between us and the Ogun State Government (the Agreement) which was further extended for a period of I-year effective 22nd April, 2011.

Clause 3.1 of the Agreement specifically provides for 15% commissions (net of any taxes) of any amount recovered and Clause 3.2 also provides that our commissions would be payable “within thirty days of Ogun State Government receiving payment” and “in the currency in which the payment is received”; hence why our demand for payment was sent only after it was confirmed – through our own independent investigations – that the State had actually received the refund.

Based on all the foregoing irrefutable facts, your Statements are clearly shown to have been false and designed to prevent us from receiving our duly-earned commission after all our efforts in facilitating the refund of excess/charges due to Ogun State on its Paris Club loan.

Furthermore, given that your Letter clearly shows that the Ogun State Government relied on our Letter (and the claims submitted therein), it is also not in doubt that your Statements were willfully false and calculated to malign our character.

The following statements in particular were a baseless and unfounded defamatory attack on us and our esteemed Chairman, Chief Bode Mustapha:

1.     “Ogun State indigenes should be on their guard, as regards the finances of the State, as some unconscionable politicians will do everything possible to recoup their investment in the last Governorship election from the public till”;

2.     “The sudden resurrection of (sic) 2009 purported contract, was a premeditated action, designed to scam the State Government under the guise of an anticipated arbitration judgment. The Amosun Government will not be a party to this orchestrated scheme to swindle the State.

The foregoing comments, which reflect the entirety of your Statements, are false, baseless and wholly defamatory against our character and that of our esteemed Chairman.

We therefore DEMAND that you retract the above statements and publish a written apology regarding same in at least two national daily newspapers within 7 days of your receipt of this letter.

Should you fail to comply with our demand we shall be left with no other recourse than to approach a court of law to obtain the appropriate legal remedies, including significant damages not only against the Ogun State Government but yourself personally.

Kindly also note that with the availability of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 (and in the interest of transparency and good governance) we may be forced to now request for information on where all Ogun State refunds on its multilateral and Paris Club loans have been domiciled especially in these times that some State Governments open Bank Accounts without proper documentation.

Rest assured that at the appropriate time Ogun State indigenes, (being an astute and intelligent citizenry), will surely request for this information from the DMO and/or the Federal Ministry of Finance in order to be able to holistically and more accurately assess the performance of the Governor Amosun Administration (that you presently serve as Commissioner of Finance) vis a vis the uses that these funds were put.

We look forward to your compliance with our demands.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

For and on behalf of Bond Investments & Holdings Ltd

CHIEF OLABODE MUSTAPHA Msc MioD MHR

Executive Chairman