Oil firm sues APC candidate Udofia’s company over N200m debt

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Oil and gas servicing company, Hydrodive Nigeria Limited, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to wind up a company, Saidel Limited, belonging to All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Akanimo Udofia, over an alleged multi-million naira debt.

The petitioner, in the winding up petition filed by its counsel Nnamdi Oragwu of Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors, told the court that the respondent has failed to pay the debts of N200million and $243,606.50, weeks after the delivery of a statutory demand notice.

Hydrodive Nigeria is, therefore, praying for an order that Saidel Limited be wound up by the court under the relevant provisions of the Companies and Allied Act for its inability to pay the debt.

The petitioner also prayed for an order appointing Mr Tochukwu Onyiuke, an Insolvency Practitioner or any duly licensed member of the Business Rescue and Insolvency Practitioner Association of Nigeria, as the substantive liquidator as the court may deem fit, to immediately liquidate Udofia’s company in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

The petitioner said Saidel Limited approached it for offshore diving works for the Southern Swamp Sales Gas Evacuation Pipeline Project sometimes in 2018, following which an agreement was reached and executed on July 17, 2018.

Hydrodive Nigeria is, therefore, praying for an order that Saidel Limited be wound up by the court under the relevant provisions of the Companies and Allied Act for its inability to pay the debt.

The petitioner also prayed for an order appointing Mr Tochukwu Onyiuke, an Insolvency Practitioner or any duly licensed member of the Business Rescue and Insolvency Practitioner Association of Nigeria, as the substantive liquidator as the court may deem fit, to immediately liquidate Udofia’s company in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

The petitioner said it completed the execution of the project in February, 2019 and was issued a project completion certificate by Udofia’s company.

The petitioner said it sent several reminders, follow-ups and demands for the payment and also informed the respondent about the huge interest already accruing on the facilities borrowed to execute the contract. It subsequently filed the winding-up petition, praying the court to liquidate Saidel Limited.

The respondent, on the other hand, said it had challenges repaying the money.

On April 1, 2021, Saidel Limited told the petitioner in response to one of the demand letters that it was “optimistic on closing the facility deal with the bank”.

It added: “Unfortunately, the final Credit Risk Committee of the Bank rejected the Respondent’s requested amount and increased the collateral to 140%.”

On December 6, 2021, Saidel Limited stated in another mail: “We are aware of our obligations, and we are making all efforts to close them down. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned but alternative measures are being planned to close out our obligations to your organisation. We might have taken some time, but we would be the last one to shy away from our contractual obligations.

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