N2.7 Billion Debt: Court Urged To Wind Up Company

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A petition to wind up Negris Holdings Limited over alleged failure to pay a debt of N2,707,250,000, has been filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the court has restrained the directors and management from operating or withdrawing funds from the company’s account under whatsoever name or guise in any bank or financial institution within Nigeria pending the hearing and final determination of the application for the appointment of a provisional liquidation for the company.

The order of the court was sequel to an application filed before the court on behalf of Access Bank Plc by the law firm of Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), against Negris Holdings.

In an affidavit sworn to by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ignatius Ijenkeri and filed before the court by Mr. Ogunba, the deponent alleged that Negris Holdings which is a customer of Access Bank Plc, applied for and was granted a loan of N2,707,250,000 meant to finance the acquisition or take over of Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company Limited in liquidation.

The offer letter provided as the conditions, precedent to draw down duly executed board resolution accepting the offer; duly executed documents required to perfect tripatite legal mortgage on the property known as All Seasons Plaza on Lateef Jakande Road, Ikeja and duly executed of all assets debenture of Negris Holdings, but the company willfully refused to execute the legal mortgage and the debenture, while the funds were duly disbursed to it.

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The company was also alleged to have blatantly and without any form of remorse, breached the terms and conditions of the loan as it was unable to liquidate its outstanding indebtedness to the bank.

Consequently, the petitioner averred that the company maintains several accounts with some banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria and the said funds, need to be preserved pending the determination of application for the appointment of provisional liquidator.

The company’s assets scattered all over Nigeria also need to be preserved to prevent same from being dissipated by its directors having been aware of the existence of the petition.

The bank then urged the court to restrain the company, its directors and management from withdrawing money from its accounts in any bank or financial institutions, which the court acceded to.