Court resumes hearing in Afribank suit against oil firm


Jul 26, 2010 By Innocent Anaba


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has resumed hearing in the suit by Afribank Nigeria Plc, against Imade Oil and Gas Limited, over an alleged N661.1million debt.


Trial judge in the matter, Justice Okechukwu Okeke,  has meanwhile, ordered Afribank to advertise the petition in the official gazette of the federal government, and some national dallies.Afribank is contending in the suit that all efforts to make the oil marketing company repay its debts to the bank had proved abortive.


According to the bank,  in line with Sections 401,408, 409 and 410 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 Laws of the Federation, 2004, it was imperative for the company to be wound up because evidence available to show that it was bankrupt.The court adjourned hearing till July 29, 2010, so that there will be sufficient time from the hearing of the petition.


While convincing the judge for the order, the Bank contended that the respondent was weak, comatose and was in a state of bankruptcy and as a result unable to pay its indebted to the bank,  which as at May 25, 2010 was to the tune of N661.1million and is still running.The bank noted on the background of the issues that gave rise to the suit,  that sometime in January 2008, the respondent pursuant to banker-customer relationship applied for and was granted an overdraft facility by the petitioner in the sum N250million to enable it purchase 500,000 liters of petroleum products from oil dealers such as MRS, AP or any other company on the terms and conditions stated in the offer letter dated January 25, 2008.


According to the bank, further to the existing facility, the respondent also applied for and was granted an import finance facility by the petitioner for the sum US$4, 190,000 for a tenor of 90 days to enable it part_finance the importation of 5,000 metric tons of automative gas oil from Vitol S.A in Geneva on terms they both agreed upon.It argued that the bank will rely on the offer letters during the hearing of the case, as part of the conditions for the over draft facility, the respondent present its board resolution accepting the facility and executed an undated bill of sale, chattel mortgage among others and subsequently drew down and fully utilized the facilities.


The bank further contended  that as result of the respondent inability to pay the credit facilities, the  tenor which had since expired, its current indeptedness to it is in the sum of N661,181million as at May 25, 2010 and interest continues to accrue.According to the bank,  that the respondent had either failed, reused or neglected to repay the facilities and has become bankrupt and unable to its debts, urging that  it was just and equitable that Imade Oil and Gas Limited be wound up in line with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 Laws of the Federation, 2004.






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