21st July, 2011
For the fear of winding up of a limited liability company, Berystede Limited, by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, two guarantors of a loan taken from the bank and the company have dragged the bank before a Federal High Court in Lagos.
In their statement of claim, Mr. Adefisan Doherty and Chief (Mrs.) O. Doherty, alleged that on 14 October, 2008, the bank made an offer of equity release for the purchase of a property at 5, Onike Road, Yaba, Lagos, valued N120 million and the said offer culminated in terms of loan and the execution of a legal mortgage.
The terms of the loan were as follows: monthly repayment of N3,014,665.65 as mortgage security to be registered pegged at N60 million; letter of authority from Chief Doherty authorising the use of her property at Plot 606, Maitama District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, as security for the facility, while the source for the repayment of the loan shall be income from Chief Dohertyâ€™s shareholdings in various companies and rent from her various properties.
The plaintiff also agreed with the bank to finance the purchase of the said property.
The plaintiffs averred that they met all their obligations on the loan repayment with only outstanding repayment of July to September 2010 and then approached the bank for restructuring, but it turned down the plea, terminated the monthly repayment and requested for full and immediate repayment of the principal sum plus the interest.
Thereafter, strangers are said to have been visiting the Maitama premises of their property, drving away the security men and claiming that the bank has taken over same as receivers.
The legal department of the bank has also commenced the process of winding up of Berystede Company and also contemplating, in the alternative, the process of declaring the plaintiffs bankrupt.
They are therefore urging the court to declare that Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc cannot commence bankruptcy proceeding against them as they are capable and willing to repay their debts as they have more than enough resources to meet all their commitments in terms of loans and mortgage.
They also urged the court to restrain the bank and its agents from winding up or selling or disposing of Chief Dohertyâ€™s property situated at Plot 606, Maitama Cadastral District, Abuja, which is the subject matter of a deed of legal mortgage between the two parties.
The presiding judge, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako has adjourned for further hearing.