By AbdulwahabÂ Â Abdulah
Union Bank of Nigeria, Plc, has filed a winding-up petition against the Tinapa Business Resort Ltd before a Federal High Court sitting in Calabar over alleged outstanding debts of N12. 5 billion owed the bank.
In a winding up petition brought pursuant to Sections 408 (d), 409 (a) (c) and 410 (1) b of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C 20 LFN, 2004, filed on behalf of the bank by Mr. Tayo Oyetubo, SAN, the bank was praying the court among other things to allow it wind up the company over its alleged inability to pay its debts.
Union bank, which was one of the bank owed several billions of naira by its customers was also asking the court to grant an order that the company be made to pay the costs of the petition and for such orders as may be made by the court.
Tinapa Business Resort Ltd, a Company formed to sponsor, develop, create, and establish the Tinapa Free Trade Zone and Resort, according to the petition has nominal share capital of N5 million at inception.
The company was to manage the multi-billion naira Tinapa Business Resort and free trade zone, but was allegedly indebted to the bank to the tune of N12,500,795,390.00 as at 16th November 2009.
According to the bank, it said the N12.5 billion debts were cumulative facilities granted the company from September 15, 2006 subject to agreements reached by both parties. Part of the agreements according to the petition was for the company to secure a guarantee letter from the state government, passing aÂ board resolution authorizing the borrowing and accepting the terms and conditions of the facility and the domiciliation of rental incomes and other revenues from the Tinapa Project by the Respondent.
Also, it said the company was asked to depositÂ title documents to the Tinapa Project, all conditions which were met by the respondent.
Following this, the bank stated it opened an â€œAccount Number 1586070006049 as the principal loan account for the Respondent while the Respondent agreed that interest charges on the principal loan should be charged to its ordinary account with number 1581020002941.â€
It averred that â€œduring the pendency of the principal loan, the Respondent further applied to the bank videÂ letters dated 2ndÂ and 31st October 2006 requesting for an additional sum of N5billion as a bridging loan to ensure the successful completion of the project.
â€œIn response to the Respondentâ€™s request, the Petitioner informed the Respondent vide a letter dated May 8th , 2007 that it (Petitioner) has approved Respondentâ€™s request for a bridging facility of N5Billion in addition to the existing principal loan of N5Billion. The latter bridging loan was to be used to meet the funding gap towards the completion of the Tinapa Project.â€
Later it opened an account number 1586070000066 for the Respondent for the N5Billion bridging loan while interest charges on the bridging loan was charged on the Respondentâ€™s ordinary account with number 1581020002941.
â€œAs security for the bridging loan, the Respondent procured the Cross Rivers State Government to give additional guarantee dated 12th June 2007. The entire sum of N5Billion under the principal loan was disbursed by the Petitioner to the Respondent while only N3Billion was drawn down by the Respondent under the bridging facility,â€it added.
The bank stated that despite its repeated demands for the company to pay its indebtedness together with accrued interests totaling N12,500,795,390.00 as at 16th November 2009, it said it failed to pay the Petitioner.
To this end, the bank urged the court to passionately look at its petition and granted its prayers.
However, the respondent is yet to file its response to the petition dated March 11, 2010 and no date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter.