Unless a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos decides otherwise, a firm, Omritas Energy Limited, may be wound up over its inability to pay a debt of N57.6 million.
The petitioner, AYM Shafa Limited, in a motion on notice brought pursuant to order 26 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009; section 408 (D) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004; order 19 of the Companies Winding up Rules, 2001 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court, sought the court for an order granting leave to the petitioner /applicant to advertise the winding up petition by one insertion in the Federal Government of Nigeria official gazette and two national daily newspapers to wit: Sun and Vanguard newspapers being newspapers circulating nationally and within Lagos where the respondent has its head office in compliance with the Companies Winding up Rules 2001.
Trouble began when the company offered to supply the petitioner 1,000,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) at the rate of N150 per litre which the petitioner payed N150,000,000.00 to the respondent but the respondent allegedly supplied 337,000 litres at N150 leaving a debit balance of N99,450,000.00.
After so many fruitless demands made to the petitioner to complete the supply of the DPK, the petitioner opted to take Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) at the rate of N160 per litre wherein the respondent supplied 339,000 litres, leaving a balance of N45,210,000.00.
Subsequently, the respondent approached that it has a cargo of AGO and will sell at the rate of N160 wherein the petitioner paid the respondent the sum of N105,760,000.00 for the supply of 661,000 liters of AGO but the respondent supplied only 583,000 litres of AGO leaving a debt balance of N12,480,000 when added to the earlier N45,210,000 brings the outstanding debt brings the total debt of the respondent to N57,690,000.00.
Notwithstanding several demands by the legal representative of the petitioner to the respondent to pay up its indebtedness, the respondent failed to do so. The respondent also made an undertaking on October 27, 2016 before the national chairman and former national chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to liquidate its indebtedness to the petitioner but failed to honour it.
Having failed to honour the undertaking it made before PTD national to pay its indebtedness to the petitioner, the respondent made another undertaking before the Commissioner of Police in Bauchi state to liquidate its indebtedness to the petitioner by January 11, 2017 which undertaking the company failed to honour.
On January 13, 2017 the respondent made another undertaking to pay its indebtedness to the petitioner and issued four Diamond bank cheques dated February 27, March 13, 27 and April 10, 2017 which cheques upon presentation were all dishonoured.
The petitioner therefore urged the court to make an order that Omritas Energy Limited be wound up by court under the provisions of sections 409(a) and 410(1)(b) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAP C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
But the respondent claimed that the petitioner has not complied with the law in presenting the petition therefore challenging the competence of the petition describing same as an abuse of court process.
The respondent also denied being indebted to the petitioner to the tune of the amount claimed or any sum at all. It further maintained that it only has 360,563 litres of AGO to supply to the petitioner and that parties subsequently disagreed on the price and the point of loading which is yet to be resolved before presentation of this petition.
Meanwhile Justice Ayotunde Faji has adjourned the matter till October 10, 2017.
By Chinyere Obia