Oil Firm Asks Court To Shut Akwa Ibom APC Governorship Candidate, Udofia’s Company Over Alleged N200m, $243,606 Debts

The respondent has failed to pay the debts of N200million and $243,606.50, weeks after the delivery of a statutory demand notice.

An oil and gas servicing company, Hydrodive Nigeria Limited, has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to close down a company, Saidel Limited, belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Akanimo Udofia, over alleged multi-million naira debts.

The company in a suit filed by its lawyer, 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.

It, therefore, prayed for an order that Saidel Limited be closed down 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 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.

“Upon a winding up, the petitioner/creditor of the respondent would derive the benefit arising from a thorough tracing, collection and gathering of the respondent’s assets which will be applied by the Liquidator for the settlement of the Respondent’s debt.

“In the circumstances, the petitioner believes that it is just and equitable to wind up the respondent for its inability to pay its debts,” the court document read.

The petitioner said it specialises in providing diving, vessel leasing, sub-sea and construction support, as well as maintenance and repair of offshore facilities.

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

Parties also executed supplementary agreements in which the respondent contracted the petitioner as a subcontractor for the project, which it duly executed.

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

According to the petitioner, by the terms of the Service Agreement, Saidel Limited was required to settle the petitioner’s invoice within 45 days.

“Upon the completion of the project and execution of the certificate of completion, the petitioner raised and sent several invoices to the respondent totalling the sum of $2,613,953.12.

“Meetings between the petitioner and respondent were held where the petitioner granted concession and issued credit notes to the respondent for the sum of $214,292.47.

“Respondent paid part of some invoices leaving an outstanding sum of N200,000 million and $243,606.50.

“Despite the terms of the service agreement and the addendums thereto requiring the settlement of the invoices within 45 days of the issuance and confirmation and consistent demands, the respondent has refused and neglected to pay the sums of N200 million and $243,606.50 owed to the petitioner.”

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.

Aside from earlier emails, the petitioner said it sent subsequent emails on December 2, 2019, January 6, 2020, January 27, 2020, February 12, February 24, 2020, April 18, 2020, May 25, 2020, June 6, 2020, July 18, 2020, July 28, 2020, August 20, 2020, September 28, 2020, October 24, 2020, and November 3, 2020.

Hydrodive Nigeria said, “On February 16, 2021, the respondent responded that it was trying to finalise an overdraft facility with three banks to make payment because it had no other option for payment and the respondent could not give any commitment regarding payment until it could get confirmation from the banks showing that the Respondent was becoming unable to pay its debt.”

The petitioner said it sent further mails but the respondent still did not make payment as agreed at the end of the month of March, 2021.

After many other subsequent emails, the respondent admitted an indebtedness in the sum of $150,000.00 and N200,000.00 but still did not make payment for even the admitted sum.