By Davidson Iriekpen, 07.25.2010
The debt crisis rocking the banking industry is about to take its toll on a frontline trader in the petroleum and commodities products, Chief Cletus Madubugwu Ibeto, as a bankruptcy petition has been filed against him at the Federal High Court in Lagos for his inability of pay the N11.4billion credit facility he borrowed from Afribank Nigeria Plc.
Ibeto, who is also currently battling to save his company - IBG Investment Company Limited from an order of winding up by the Federal High Court in Lagos, before Justice MoIokwu, is allegedly indebted to Afribank Nigeria Plc to the tune of N11, 429,957,655.90.
The bankruptcy petition against Ibeto it is believed, promises to be the first well-fought bankruptcy proceedings in Nigeria since Omanayi Majekodunmi’s case. In the wake of the banking crisis in the country, both the Federal High Court and High Court of Lagos State have become a busy forum for insolvency practitioners.
Recently, counsel to Afribank in the Ibeto debt saga, Olisa Agbakoba & Associates employed the Federal High Court insolvency processes to resolved the issue of the famous AP’s indebtedness to Access Bank Plc.In the bankruptcy petition against Ibeto, Afribank is asking the court for an order adjudging of the business mogul bankrupt.
The bank is also asking the court for an order directing that all assets interests and holdings of the said Ibeto - either held personally or through their parties and privies be liquated and the proceeds applied towards offsetting his debts. It also asked the court for an order divesting the debtor’s shares, interests and holdings in all public and private companies, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining him from appointment as a director in any public or private company in the country.
The bank, in a petition obtained by THISDAY, alleged that the debt arose from facilities extended to IBG in respect of Customs duty payments, import finance and a bank overdraft.It added that the condition for the granting of the credit facility was the personal guarantee of Ibeto to repay the facility in the event that the company fails to pay.The bank disclosed that with the expiration of the repayment date, despite the series of calls and letters to Mr Ibeto to remind him to repay, he has failed and refused to make any attempt to pay the loan.
Before the bankruptcy application, the bank had also filed an action for winding up Ibeto’s company in suit FHC/L/CP/693/2010, through its lawyer, a leading insolvency law firm, Olisa Agbakoba & Associates. The motion alleged that Ibeto’s company was unable to pay the said debt, which is a ground for winding up under Section 406 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.But Ibeto, who is also battling to save his neck from being declared bankrupt in a sister suit based on his personal guarantee of the loan, is not taking the legal battles lying down.In another suit number FHC/BK/4/2010 against Ibeto, before Justice M. B. Idris, Afribank is seeking bankruptcy orders against the embattled Nnewi chief.
In an apparent move to stave off the winding up and bankruptcy petitions, Ibeto, through his lawyer, Dr. Joseph Nwobike SAN, has filed suit number FHC/L/CS/614/2010, against Afribank raising sundry issues on the management of the import facilities and alleging mismanagement of its accounts.In its preliminary objection to the winding up proceedings, Ibeto relied on its case and alleged that the debt is disputed.
Recently, Counsel to Afribank in the Ibeto debt saga, Olisa Agbakoba & Associates employed the Federal High Court insolvency processes to resolved the issue of the famous AP’s indebtedness to Access Bank Plc.