Saturday, May 14, 2022 9:31 am
By Akin Kuponiyi
Based on alleged failure and inability to pay a debt of N137.2 million First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) has filed a petition before a Federal high court sitting in Lagos southwest Nigeria urging the court to wind up Niger Insurance Plc.
In a petition filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Onyeka Ofoegbu, First bank of Nigeria Limited alleged that a Vessel LB Tamuno was a pledge to it, the Vessel was insured and registered with a consortium of Insurance companies including Niger Insurance sometime in 2016.
Sometime in August 2018, the Vessel was submerged and sank in deep waters as all efforts made to salvage the said Vessel proved abortive.
The Petitioner subsequently demanded the sum of N2, 496, 000, 000.00 as the total loss resulting from the sinking of the Vessel LB Tamino from the consortium of Insurers which sum was adjusted downward to the sum of N1,263,600.00 by the consortium of Insurers.
The Petitioner disagreed with the Net Underwriters Liability in the sum of N1,263, 600, 000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty-Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) concerning the claim for insurance on the Vessel, LB Tamuno.
Following an investigation carried out and a report provided by loss adjusters (Consultants) appointed by the consortium of Insurers to review the insurance claim, the amount claimed was adjusted and an upward review to the sum of N1, 572, 480, 000.00 (One Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira) was agreed as the claim sum and a form of acceptance executed by the Petitioner in May 2019.
The Petitioner avers that Niger Insurance amongst other insurers was to pay 10% of the agreed sum amounting to N157, 248, 000.00
The Petitioner avers further that the Respondent has only paid the sum of N20 million, against the agreed sum of N157, 248, 000.00 and has since failed and refused to pay the outstanding sum due to the Petitioner.
The Petitioner avers that to date, Niger Insurance Company has failed and refused to liquidate its indebtedness to the Petitioner and is now indebted to the Petitioner in the sum of N137, 248, 000.00(One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand Naira) being outstanding sum due on the claim for insurance on the Vessel, LB Tamuno.
Due to the Respondent’s failure and refusal to liquidate its indebtedness, the Petitioner wrote a letter of demand to the respondent demanding the immediate liquidation of the said debt but the respondent has refused to liquidate its indebtedness
The Petitioner avers that the insurance company is financially weak and as a result, incapable of liquidating its debt owed to the Petitioner in the said sum of N137, 248, 000.00(One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand Naira). The Respondent’s indebtedness to the Petitioner is not in dispute.
The Petitioners contend that justice of this case will best be served if the Directors of the Respondent are personally made liable to liquidate the Respondent’s indebtedness having become unable to repay its debt.
In the circumstances, it is just and equitable that the Company be wound up
The Petitioner therefore humbly prays as follows:
That the Respondent, Niger Insurance Plc be wound up by the Order of the Court under the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 due to its inability to liquidate its indebtedness of the sum of N137, 248, 000.00
An Order lifting the veil of the Respondent’s Directors and making them personally liable to liquidate the indebtedness of the Respondent to the Petitioner should the Respondent’s assets be unable to satisfy its indebtedness to the Petitioner
And for such other Order that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances
The presiding Judge, Ayokunle Fiji has adjourned the matter till the 23rd of June,2022.