Freezing of Accounts: La Campagne condemns attempt at blackmail, assures safety of operations

The management of La Campagne Tropicana beach resort has condemned attempts at blackmailing the company, distorting its reputation, and obstructing its operations. This is even as it assured the public, its numerous clients, personnel, vendors, and communities as well as family dependents, that its facilities and operations are safe as well as their safety and security are guaranteed.

The management of the awards-winning African-themed resort located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos further noted that the company would not give into calculated attempts by certain individuals and organisations to rubbish it’s business and good standing in the public.

This is contained in a statement signed by the management in reaction to a publication, titled Court freezes accounts of La Campagne Tropicana over alleged N46.7m debt, which has been making the rounds in the media but offline and online mediums.

The management wondered why the plaintiff and its cohorts have resulted to such cheap blackmail and destruction of its operations if it believed it had a case against it and allowed the court to do its work, as it noted that, ‘‘We wonder why the plaintiff felt it was necessary to ensure this order was widely publicised, as strictly speaking there was no need to do anything other than serve the order on the banks to which it was addressed.

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‘‘We want to assure our numerous customers, suppliers, business associates, and the general public of our unshaken commitment to conducting business with the highest ethical standards.’’

Based on this, it cautioned the bank and its appointees to desist from further maligning its image and attempting to distort its operations, noting that La Campagne is a legal entity that fully abides by the laws of the land and the right business ethos.

This is as it noted, ‘‘We believe that the court is best placed to adjudicate on any alleged liability on our part. However, unless and until such liability is judicially established we believe the plaintiff should refrain from any attempt to disrupt our business operations. To do otherwise creates an unfavorable impression of its business practices.

‘‘We also intend to examine our legal rights with respect to this calculated and malicious disruption of our operations.’’

The statement reads in part; ‘‘After careful consideration, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort Limited has decided to issue a statement in response to the mischievous, ill-motivated, and ill-conceived publication that has been widely circulated in relation to the freezing of our accounts due to an alleged debt owed by our company to Ecobank.

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‘‘As this matter is sub-juiced we are obviously constrained as to what we can say about the subject matter of the suit. However, we feel it is necessary to note:

‘‘That the freezing of our accounts was effected on the authority of a Mareva injunction, which is an interim ex parte order obtained without giving the party against whom it is made an opportunity to respond to the claims made in obtaining such order. It should therefore be noted that this order was made without hearing the matter or considering the merits of the case based on the evidence of both parties.

‘‘That this interim order has a life span of seven days and appears to have been obtained purely in order to embarrass our company. Our belief in this regard is predicated on certain statements made by the plaintiff’s staff to the effect that they would embarrass our Founder if we did not immediately cave into their unsubstantiated demands.

‘‘That our company is disputing the claims made in the suit and would have expected the plaintiff to rely on the court and the strength of its evidence in relation to the ‘alleged’ outstanding loan rather than deploy tactics that are normally used against a plaintiff that does not reside in the jurisdiction and could therefore easily flee same with its assets before the case commenced.’’

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The management further frowned at the underhand tactics of the bank and its cohorts to cast aspersion at its organisation which has over the last 30 years operated and contributed to the development of the economy of the country and its citizenry as a wholly Nigerian-owned firm.

Stressing that ‘‘As a company that, over the past 30 years has been committed to promoting our country and which has no intention of changing its base from Nigeria we are deeply offended by the plaintiff’s tactics which in our opinion create an inference that it does not believe in the strength of its case and therefore decided to resort to bully – boy tactics.’’

Wole Shadare