N15 billion debt: Court orders winding up petition against Kepco company advertised

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Justice must take its course

Justice must be done

Akin Kuponiyi

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the Federal capital territory of Nigeria has ordered that a winding up petition filed by United Bank for Africa Plc UBA against a limited liability company KEPCO ENERGY RESOURCES NIGERIA LIMITED (RC 6900064) over the inability of the company to pay a debt of N15,221,674,976.4 be advertised in the Federal Gazette and in one other national daily.

The order of the court was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by Barrister Temilolu Adamolekun,in a winding up petition filed before the court, it was alleged that KEPCO ENERGY RESOURCES NIGERIA LIMITED, of 14,Colorado Street, Maitama Abuja, Nigeria engaged in the business of new electricity distribution, metropolitan electricity search, energy and power generation was desirous of raising capital requirement to fund the acquisition of 70% share Egbin power plant located at Egbin, Lagos state.

To actualise the acquisition, the company applied to several Nigerian banks/Finance houses for credit facilities and United bank for Africa was one of them,consequently UBA availed the company a credit facility of 35 million United States Dollars in August,2013.

As part of the security for the credit facilities granted to the company, another company, SAHARA ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED executed a sponsor Guarantee Assurances Deed wherein Sahara stood as a corporate Guarantor and undertook to irrevocably and unconditionally pay the bank any unpaid balances /sums owed the bank.

As at the 31st of December 2018,the indebtedness of the company to UBA stood at $42,282,430,.49,which is equivalent to N15,221,674,976.4.

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The bank has made several demands on the company to pay its debt but to no avail. The company is insolvent and unable to pay its debt. In the circumstances it is just and equitable that the company be wound up.

Consequently, Mr Adamolekun urged the court to grant an order for the advertisement of the petition,as it is imperative that the petition is brought to the notice of all persons desiring to be joined as parties.

In his ruling the presiding Judge Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo after listening to the submission of Mr Adamolekun, ordered that the petition against Kepco Energy Resources Company be advertised in the Federal Gazette, in one National Daily Newspaper and one other Newspaper circulating within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where the registered office or principal place of business of the company is situated.

Thereafter Justice Ekwo adjourned till 27th of June 2019 for report of compliance.

In a related development, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos south West Nigeria had earlier ordered that a winding up petition filed by Barrister Adamolekun on behalf of UBA against Sahara Energy Resources limited, the guarantor of the said loan granted to Kepco Energy Resources Nigeria Limited be advertised, in the Federal Gazette and one Daily National Newspaper due to the failure of the company to meet its obligation to the bank, in respect of the loan it guaranteed. The petition had since been advertised.