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    Monday, September 9, 2013

    TruContract Ltd Sets To Drag Diamond Bank To Court Over Scam

    Dr Alex Otti
    While some business oriented banks are declaring midyear profit others are swimming in tales of alleged mega fraud.
    Recent findings by theoctopusnews.com has revealed Diamond Bank is in big trouble, as it is about to be dragged to court for breach of contract. Digs by our reporter revealed that the bank earlier in the year initiated a pitch to sort out its corporate social responsibility (CSR), however, the sustainable programme has run into a hitch as a company which claims to have won the bid is set to drag Diamond Bank to court.

    Investigations revealed that TruContact Limited and its South Africa partner, Incite Sustainability; the alleged winners of the pitch will soon drag Diamond Bank before a court for breach of contract, as they seek compensation for loses they have incurred since entering into an agreement with the bank.
    Sources within Diamond Bank revealed to us that a letter had been written by Afri-Juris Lawyers, TruContact’s counsel, on June 11, 2013 to the bank demanding compensation for unlawful and irregular termination of appointment.

    However, typical of Diamond Bank, it has denied any knowledge of any contractual agreement between it and TruContact as alleged. In a reply to the TruContact petition, the letter signed by Oluchukwu Okoye and Iheanyi Onyekwere both of legal division of Diamond Bank read: “kindly be informed that contrary to your client’s assertion, our letter of February 7, 2013 was not an award letter for the CSR Consultancy service contract to your client.

    It was merely an offer which your client rejected by a counter offer in its letter of February 11, 2013.”
    The letter further read: “Moreover, during the subsequent meetings held, the issue surrounding costs could not be agreed upon by the parties.” The bank also stated its stance on the purported expenses claims of TruContact during the process.
    It said: “Accordingly, the purported expenses claimed by your client were incurred at its own volition and we are unable to accede to the demand for compensation.”

    The whole drama started on January 15 2013, when Diamond Bank invited three local agencies and two international firms to pitch for 12 months CSR/sustainability management service, an initiative designed by the bank to create its CSR/sustainability roadmap and sustainability performance management system with recommendation on structure, reporting, NSBP compliance and way forward.
    The local CSR and sustainability companies invited to pitch for the lucrative business include Ken Egbas-led TruContact (Incite Sustainability South Africa), Ini Onuk’s ThistlePraxis Consulting and Dayo Oluwole’s Kasher Consulting and two other agencies from the United Kingdom (UK).

    According to investigations, the pitch took place in the bank head office on January 31, 2013 and after a painstaking pitch process, TruContact was adjudged to have won the heart of the team of panellists from the bank. On February 4, 2013, a letter from Diamond Bank signed by Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, Head Corporate Communications and Titilola Aikulola of Corporate Communications was sent to TruContact, notifying the company that the management was satisfied with its performance at the pitch presentation hence its decision to engage TruContact services as CSR consultants for the bank for a period of 12 months covering February 2013 to February 2014.

    The letter reads: “We are pleased to inform you of our management’s decision to engage the services of TruContact as CSR consultants for the bank for a period of 12 months covering February 2013 to February 2014.”
    It went on to say: “Should you accept our offer, please note that a service level agreement (SLA) and non-disclosure agreement (NDA) guiding this contract will be made available by our legal department for execution by your good selves.”

    However, Diamond Bank’s harmonious tunes took a different dimension on February 28, 2013 when the bank sent another letter to TruContact, thanking it for participating in the pitch process and also announced its failure to get the business.
    The letter was signed by Aguele-Trimnell and Aikulola who previously sent a congratulatory letter to the CSR firm on the bank’s decision to engage it on February 4. According to the February 28, 2013 letter to TruContact, which our reporter intercepted,

    “We thank you for honouring our invitation to pitch creative ideas in response to our brief. Although your participation contributed immensely to the quality and competitiveness of the entire exercise, we regret to inform you that we will not be selecting your agency at this time.”
    Contrary to Diamond Bank assertion that the letter of February 4 was not an award of contract but a mere offer which TruContact rejected, our investigation revealed that on February 11, 2013, TruContact replied Diamond Bank’s February 4 letter of appointment by accepting the offer made to it.

    “We hereby acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 7 2013 with reference No.
    CC/A1/AAT/265/02/2013 in which you so kindly offered to engage our services and so doing, the services of our sister agency, Incite Sustainability, South Africa. Together, we offer you, our client, a rare combination of local and international knowledge, support and expertise in CSR and sustainability,” the TruContact’s acceptance letter stated.

    Findings by theoctopusnews.com have revealed that the matter has been passed on to the legal division of the bank to see how it can bail them from paying compensation.
    Meanwhile, a source in the bank told us that the contract was awarded to the agency that came last in the pitch performance rating on the instance of the top management executive due to the extra agreement between them.

    The source also said that the crisis has thrown unexpected clog in the wheel of the initiative, as senior managers in the corporate communications division of the bank were queried for issuing an appointment letter to TruContact without knowledge of the top management staff.
    As it is, TruContact would be heading for court soon to make sure Diamond Bank pays for the inconvenience it put them through.

    This is just one of the many alleged scams that Diamond Bank is said to be involved in. We are watching and we will update you with more development on the banks alleged frauds.
    In the past, allegations that have trailed the Diamond Bank includes the story of how a certain customer identified as Mr. Oluwamayowa Iseyemi, dragged the bank to the Osogbo High Court in Osun State for tampering with his account.
    Months later, another story of how the bank via its online services allegedly duped a man based United Kingdom (UK) of .8 Million Naira went viral.

    As if these stories are not bad enough, the financial impropriety of the bank keeps increasing by the day, as only recently one of their offices in Victoria Island, Lagos State was shutdown by the Labour Union for abuse of staff welfare and several illegality.
    Interestingly, amid all these alleged illegality the bank seem not to give a hoot about the complains of its customers, however, nemesis seems to have finally caught up with them.
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