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Friday, June 12, 2015

Senator Ben Bruce accused of defrauding suppliers



A senator representing Bayelsa State in the 8th National Assembly, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce has been alleged of defaulting in the payment of suppliers worth millions of Naira, reports ITRealms.

Correspondent also reports that this is coming a few years after the closure of Lifestyle, owned by the Ben Bruce family.

Lifestyle, ITRealms gathered, is a nationwide-based chain store which engages in marketing of books, gift items, toys to name a few and owed in the process of supplying the various goods for sell in their Victoria Island, Lagos galleria and other locations across the country.

ITRealms also learnt that some suppliers who borrowed huge money from banks to procure, import or produce the items before supplying them to Lifestyle were frustrated on learning that key officials of the company supposedly attending to them had been ‘compelled’ to resign their appointments, even as it was difficult to meet Ben Bruce and his brothers on the matter.

“We have made several efforts, including visits, phone calls and text messages to officials of the company without success,” one of the victims, Mr. Udeme Akpan said.

Mr. Akpan who is a Lagos-based journalist and author of the book “Niger Delta and Oil Politics,” reiterated in a telephone chat that he was not paid even after Lifestyle completed the marketing of his books.

“It is true that Lifestyle owed many suppliers, including myself before closing shop a few years ago. The officials of the company have not made any efforts to settle the debts which amount to some millions of Naira. I have been paying interest because the funds we used in producing the book were raised from a bank,” Udeme decried.

Udeme told ITRealms that when he discovered that the usual reassuring messages were no longer coming, he decided to visit the office and again, the lady she met promised that his own payment would be made within weeks.

Consequently, he said, other “staff of Ben Bruce have been very hostile to everyone who goes there to ask for payment. This is to say least most unfair, fraudulent and discourteous, especially coming from Ben Bruce who gives impression that he is committed to building a new Nigeria.”

Further, Udeme said that a company known as Balogun Badejo Consulting Limited, was contracted to liquidate Nu Metro assets in Nigeria and used the proceeds to settle its liabilities or debts. Stressing that at a stage, creditors made up of authors and suppliers were invited to file their claims and provide necessary documents for eventual payment. 

“I supplied all documents requested to process my payment and followed up with several visits. Its consultant, Ibrahim Showa kept on promising that I, and others would be paid. But the company never did despite several visits and calls. It beats my imagination why a company like Balogun Badejo that should have respect for ethics and professionalism should have accepted to execute the task if it was not going to leave up to expectation,” Udeme stressed.

Efforts to contact Senator Bruce proved abortive at the time of filing this story.
 

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Pix: Courtesy: Silverbird.com - Senator Ben Murray Bruce

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