Firm seeks winding up of Guinness Nigeria over N175 million debt

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Peter Ndegwa

Accused urges court to strike out case

A pharmaceutical firm, Pharma-Deko Plc has filed a winding-up petition against Guinness Nigeria Plc, over N175,699, 317.99 million debt at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The matter, which is before Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari would be heard on March 28, 2017.

In the petition marked FHC/L/CP/69/2017, the firm, through its counsel, Chief (Mrs.) Williams Akinjide (SAN) is urging the court to wind-up Guinness Nigeria Plc, due to inability to pay an undisputed contractual debt of N175,699,317.99 million.

Pharma-Deko is also urging the court to appoint an official receiver, as a provisional liquidator.

The petitioner also stated that its request to wind-up the respondent was pursuant to the Provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap. C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

At the resumed hearing of the petition yesterday, counsel to Guinness Nigeria Plc. Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN) informed the court of its client’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the petition.

Consequently, Justice Shagari adjourned the hearing of the application till March 28.

The petitioner in an affidavit deposed to by its production manager, Olukayode Isola, averred that it entered into a canning agreement with Guinness Nigeria Plc, and as a result of breach of contract by the defendant, an arbitration proceedings was conducted in accordance with the contract on the basis of which an award was made on July 1, 2016.

In response to the proceedings, Guinness Nigeria Plc urged the court to strike out the suit in its entirety for want of jurisdiction.

Guinness Nigeria Plc in its affidavit stated that by the notice of arbitration dated February 10, 2010, Pharma-Deko Plc instituted an arbitration against Guinness Nigeria Plc, alleging a breach of contract and unlawful termination of canning agreement dated July 2006.

It averred that upon the conclusion of the arbitration, the sole arbitrator published a final award on July 1, 2016 of the sum of N195,167,986.87, which was subsequently corrected and republished on August 1, 2016, in favour of Pharma-Deko Plc.

It, however, stated that upon the counter-claim filed by the Pharma-Deko Plc, the arbitrator awarded the sum of N21,222,421.43 to Guinness Nigeria Plc, thereby leaving a balance of N175,699, 317. 99.

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