Sunday, September 27, 2015 6:30 pm
AKIN KUPONIYI/Court Correspondent
Two Federal high courts sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria have adjourned two bankruptcy suits filed against Risqua Abba Murtala Muhammed,the son of the late Nigerian former head of state General Murtala Ramat Muhammed
The first case awaits judgment while the second case has been set aside for report of settlement since the parties are negotiating.
In the first suit filed by a Lagos Lawyer, Norrison I. Quakers (SAN), Guaranty Trust bank Plc in an affidavit in support of the petition sworn to by its legal officer Tolulope Fadipe, alleged that Mr Risqua Murtala Muhammed a businessman is indebted to Guaranty Trust bank Plc in the sum of N1.36 billion being the outstanding balance of loan facility granted AMG Petro-energy limited for the importation of petroleum products from international and other local sources for onward supply to some off -takers including Total Nigeria Plc and Exxon Mobil.
It was further alleged that $40 million was granted AMG Petro-energy, headed by Risqua Murtala Muhammed by #GuarantyTrustBank Plc as import finance facility, for the purchase of refined petroleum products.
The said $40million was secured by domiciliation of letter of credit proceeds and the personal guarantee of Mr Risqua Muhammed, as the President /Chief Executive Officer of AMG Petroenergy Limited.
Upon maturity of the credit facility granted,the Debtor and his company could not meet up with the repayment obligation resulting in the bank granting several consessions to the Debtor which did not yield any positive result.
Consequently the sum of N1.36 billion is now due and remains unpaid as the debtor has failed and neglected to pay despite several demands and entreaties by the bank.
The bank has also called in the personal Guaranty of the Debtor but he has failed to pay despite all demands.
The affidavit claimed that the Debtor departed his dwelling or otherwise absented himself from the petitioner’s reach.
Now the bank requests the Registrar of the court to issue bankruptcy notice address to him.
However in a notice of intention to defend the petition filed before the court on behalf of Risqua by the law firm of Consolex Legal Practitioners, Risqua contended that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petition as same was instituted by a multiplicity of originating Process.
He claimed that the bank is not entitled to issue a Bankruptcy notice against him since it has not obtained final order or judgement against him for any amount, the bank was also alleged to have failed to furnish the Register of the court with either of the documents require by law.
The presiding judge,Saliu Saidu has adjourned for judgement.
In the second Bankruptcy suit filed before the court by Mr Adekunle Ogunba (SAN) on behalf of Ecobank,it was alleged that Risqua Murtala Muhammed who resides at 40,Colrado Cresent, Ministers Hills Maitama Abuja,as the Managing Director/Alter ego of AMG Petroenergy Limited was the beneficiary of the bank’s credit facilities
between June 2006 and October,2009.
The facilities availed AMG Petroenergy was secured with personal guarantee of Risqua Murtala Muhammed supported with his statement of his networth.
AMG Petroenegy company charged via a tripartite legal mortgage property situated at plot 708A,Adeola Hopewell Street Victoria Island Lagos in favour of the bank.
The restructured facility with accrued interest was eventually sold to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) due to the company’s inability to meet up with the repayment plan .
The Principal Debtor AMG Petroenergy Limited has refused or is unable to repay the outstanding sum of N1.006 billion as at 13 August,2014.despite repeated demands
The tenor/repayment plan of the facility secured by the personal guarantee of Riqua Murtala has expired and the debtor has not liquidated the said indebtedness as he has refused to heed all the lawful demands of the bank.
Consequently the bank seeks from the court the following relief :
*An order declaring the debtor Bankrupt and consequential order as follows:
*Empowering the bank to sell the debtors properties where-ever situated or found either by private treaty or by public auction to be published in two Daily National Newspapers.
*An order granting leave to the bank to appropriate or otherwise utilize the investments, shares or other interests of the Debtor in AMG Petroenergy Limited and any other company/corporate entity in Nigeria, repaying the facility to the extend it cover.
*An order permitting the Creditor to apply the proceeds from the sale of the Debtor’s properties, Chattels, towards the repayment of the facility to the bank,to the extent it can cover.
Justice James Tsoho has adjourned for the report of settlement since the parties are negotiating for out of court settlement.