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N2.7bn debt: Court grants Access Bank’s plea to liquidate Negris Holdings

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By INNOCENT ANABA

LAGOS- A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted the application by Access Bank Plc to appoint a provisional liquidator for Negris Holding Limited over alleged N2.7 billion debt owed the bank.

The order was sequel to the suit by the bank, seeking to wind up the company, a leading indigenous engineering services group providing specialised services to the oil and gas, energy and industrial sectors, over the alleged debt.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, granted the order following the application argued by counsel to the bank, Mr. Kunle Ogunba, SAN.

The bank had asked the court for an order of a provisional liquidator for Negris following its inability to pay back the N2.7bn credit facility granted to it.

Ogunba had argued that the order was to protect the subject-matter, pending the hearing and determination of the winding-up petition.

The bank argued that granting the application would not affect the substance of the petition, as it was only a precautionary move so that the court will not be acting in vain at the long run.

Meantime, Negris’ counsel, Mr Adebonojo Badejo, SAN, asked the court to set aside the order and dismiss the suit in its entirety. He also prayed the court to stay execution on the order, contending that the bank misrepresented, suppressed and falsified material facts at the point of obtaining the order.

He argued that substantive petition did not disclose any ground under the recognised heads for winding-up a company under the provisions of Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

 

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