Winding Up Petition Against Oil Company Adjourned

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, South West Nigeria, has adjourned till 8 June, 2011, the winding up petition filed against an oil company, Heyden Petroleum Limited, by Oceanic Bank International Plc.

According to the petition filed before the court by Chief Ajibola Aribisala (SAN), it was alleged that Heyden Petroleum Limited, on 25 October, 2006, granted an import finance facility in the sum of N1 billion by Oceanic Bank International Plc.

The facility was granted at a negotiated interest rate of 17 per cent per annum, subject to review by the bank in accordance with the prevailing money market rate.

Managing Director of the company, Senator Adedapo Abiodun, personally guaranteed the repayment of the loan in respect of which he executed a deed of personal guarantee, but he has since failed to honour the bank’s demand to redeem the guarantee sum upon inability of the company to liquidate its indebtedness.

The oil company again applied and was granted a share loan facility in the sum of N112 million, which has equally expired since March 2009.

The company’s inability to comply with the tenets of the facilities led to the classification of its account as non performing by the audit report of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Upon the company’s failure to pay its debts as demanded in a letter dated 28 August, 2009, the petitioner further issued another demand note demanding the sum of N1,034,422,195.45, but to no avail as the company was only able to pay N25 million into its account which is barely 2.4 per cent of its indebtedness to the bank.

Consequently, the petitioner averred that the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debt and in the circumstances, it is just and equitable that it be wound up in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.