Dear Sir: We have been briefed by the Orlu Progressive Indigenes led by Mr. Longers Umeh of Ihioma town in Orlu in respect of questions they have raised over the candidacy of one Chief Hope Uzodinma who is a Senatorial aspirant for the Imo West Senatorial District.
We have decided to write this petition to you out of our deep concern regarding the credentials and integrity of those you intend to field to contest for various elective offices in the country. As the largest party in Africa, we are sure your Party can boast of quality men and women in various fields of human endeavour that you can sponsor to run for various offices, hence you will have no qualms at all in dropping anyone who you come to realize will constitute an embarrassing albatross to the Party in terms of credibility, competence and qualification.
One of such persons we enjoin you to take a closer look at is Chief Hope Uzodinma who is an aspirant for the Imo West Senatorial District. The following cases/issues in respect of Chief Hope Uzodinma which we hereby highlight hereunder raise serious questions about his credibility to vie for the said office and whether the Peoples’ Democratic Party may not eventually end up loosing the right to field any candidate for that Senatorial District if you decide to field the said Chief Hope Uzodinma.
CASE NUMBER ONE: FUGITIVE FROM THE LAW
Sometime in 2005, Springbank Plc, lodged a complaint with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against Chief Hope Uzodinma for fraudulent diversion and obtaining money under false pretences. After a thorough investigation, the Commission found a prima facie case against him and filed a nine-count charge against him at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Division in Charge No. ID/82C/2008: F.R.N V. HOPE UZODINMA. (Kindly find attached a copy of the charge sheet and correspondence from the complainant bank).
Since the charge was filed against him, he has fled from the long arms of the law and has been running from pillar to post trying to frustrate his arraignment. The matter has come up severally in court, and on each occasion the court was informed by the E.F.C.C that Chief Hope Uzodinma is at large, meaning he is a fugitive from the law. Pray, what manner of person (especially one who aspires to be a lawmaker) will run away from justice? Imagine the embarrassment to your party if law enforcement agents lie in wait for your candidate and arrest him on election day or during inauguration in the full glare of the public. Or just imagine if he wins the general election as your candidate and he is eventually convicted and loses his seat. Can your party afford such moral crises?
Kindly recall that your predecessor in office, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, who was even an elected National Chairman of your Party, was made to resign his position based on a mere criminal charge that was filed against him. That is the moral standard that your Party has set for itself. And here we are talking of an individual who has not even been screened and passed fit to be an aspirant of the party.
The other reason we have brought this matter to your attention is to formally inform you that one of your own is a wanted man and if you do not advise him to report himself to the EFCC for his arraignment and trial when he presents himself for screening, then you will be aiding and abetting a crime. Please, take the hint and do what is needful.
CASE NO.2: UZODINMA ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY
Chief Hope Uzodinma is the majority shareholder and the Managing Director of Transurb Technical Consult Ltd. The company is presently indebted to Bank PHB in the sum of N690,000,000.00 (Six Hundred and Ninety Million Naira), not to mention her debts with other banks.
As a result, there is presently a subsisting suit pending against the company at the High Court of Justice, Lagos State, Lagos Division before Justice Onyeabor. The suit is to the effect that Transurb Technical Consult Ltd be wound up and the Directors (including Chief Hope Uzodinma) be declared bankrupt as loans collected by the company have not been serviced and cannot be repaid. Mr. Chairman, imagine the embarrassment to your Party if on the eve of the elections, your candidate is declared bankrupt.
In addition to the above, by the Annual Returns filed on behalf of the company, no particulars of indebtedness was presented. This is in clear breach of section 331(2)(a) of the Company’s and Allied Matters Act which states that:
"The accounting records shall be sufficient to show and explain the transactions of the company and shall be such as to
(a) disclose with reasonable accuracy of any time, the financial position of the company.
Section 331(3b) CAMA states -
"The accounting records shall in particular contain a record of the assets and liabilities of the company".
From the financial statements of affairs, filed alongside the Annual Return forms on behalf of the company, it is clear that the company is in default. Though we concede that a company is a body corporate capable of suing and sued in its corporate name, however, section 331(1) of the CAMA goes further to state:
“if a company fails to comply with any provision of Section 331 or 332(1) of this Act ,every officer of a company who is in default shall be guilty of an offence unless he shows that he acted honestly and that in the circumstances in which the business of the company was carried on the default was excusable"
Section 332(2) states as follows:
"an officer of a company shall be guilty of an offence if he fails to take all reasonable steps for securing compliance by the company with section 322 of this Act or has intentionally caused any default by the company under it.”
It should be noted that so far, in line with sections 331, 332, 333 and 371 of the CAMA 1990, the financial statement of company makes no recourse to her debts. It can therefore be said, that these loans as secured by the company through her directors, were secured by her directors for their own personal aggrandizement and therefore in contravention of section 331, 332, 333 and 371 of the CAMA 1990.
Sir, in line with Section 66(1)(e) of the 1999 Constitution, no person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or House of Representations if he is an undischarged bankrupt having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of Nigeria.
As earlier indicated there is presently a subsisting suit to the effect that Transurb Technical Consult Ltd be wound up and her directors declared bankrupt. It is therefore advisable that a candidate with such antecedent should not be allowed by the party to contest an elective post so as not to truncate the aim and aspirations of the party if eventually declared bankrupt by the court. It will be a big risk for the party. Kindly find attached all relevant documents in respect of the above matter.
We have decided to bring all the above facts to your attention because we believe that, as a responsible Party, you will not deliberately sponsor candidates with such heavy moral and legal burden hanging around their necks. This is especially so as you are not short of alternative men and women of proven integrity and track records to fly your flag.
We call on you to fulfill your promise to the electorates to field only men and women of high integrity to run for political offices by refusing to clear Chief Hope Uzodinma as even an aspirant to the Imo West Senatorial District and to advise him to submit himself to the law by going to face his criminal trial in court for obtaining money by false pretences, popularly called 419.
Our clients are prepared to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion in case you opt to ignore our information and to field him as your candidate.
Accept our best wishes.
I remain yours most trusted.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.
HEAD OF CHAMBERS