22nd July, 2010
A limited liability company, Marine Deepwater Limited, has run into troubled waters as Guaranty Trust Bank through its solicitor Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN has dragged the company before a Federal High Court in Lagos, South West Nigeria, over unpaid debt of N474,776,920.05
Also joined as co-defendants in the debt recovery suit are a sister company, First Deepwater Discovery Limited and M.T Deepwatership.
In a claim filed before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako by the learn red senior advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Pinheiro, it was alleged that sometime in May, 2008, Marine Deepwater company as a customer ofÂ Guaranty Trust Bank applied for and was granted credit facilities of $3.6 million to part finance the acquisition of a 6,739 DWT product.
The loan was to be secured by the vessel to be purchased in the name of the bank by the two companies. The loan facility was duly accepted by the companies through their directors. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the loan, the two companies executed a tripartite deed of convenient tripartite loan security agreement by way of legal mortgage over the financed vessel M.T. Deepwater, formerly known as M.T. Nigeria Premiers, as collateral for repayment.
However, it was alleged that as at 14 May this year, the indebtedness of the Marine Deepwater company stood at $3,165,179.47, an equivalent of N474,776,920.05.
In view of this development, the bank is asking for an order of the court for the sale of M.T. Deepwater to offset the judgement debt interest and cost of this legal action. The court onÂ 17June, this year, issued warrant of arrest and detention of M.T. Deepwatership which has been executed.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of First Deepwater Limited, Mr. Babatunde Babalola, in an affidavit filed before the court through its counsel barrister, Adefusika Ade-Ojo, while urging the court to discharge the order of arrest and detention of the ship, promised to pay the bank the sum of N50 million from the proceeds of the sale of his house at Palm groove Estate in Lagos as he had earlier paid N1,970,800.
The court has adjourned for further hearing.