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Access Bank sues stockbroking firm over N1.4bn debt


Access Bank has instituted a winding up suit against De-Lord Securities Limited, a stock broking firm, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over an alleged N1.5 billion loan it granted to company.

De-Lord Securities Limited is alleged to have defaulted in the payment of the loan after approaching the bank through a letter on March 5, 2008 for the credit facility to fund its operational needs. Access Bank says the company refused to settle the debt despite repeated demands.

The bank holds that the credit was granted to the defendant for a period of one year with an interest rate of 17 percent per annum. The defendant was said to have agreed to the terms of payment: “That the credit facility shall be for a period of one year and that the said credit facility shall attract interest at the rule rate of 17 percent per annum.”

However by June 1, 2009 the total outstanding payment owned by the defendant was N1, 431, 863, 050.26, a fact that was purportedly communicated to the defendant.

Counsel to Access Bank, Ahmed Akanbi, stated that the defendant at various times, failed to service the facility, despite a letter of demand dated January 10, 2009. He further held that the defendant did not reply the letter of demand; neither did it repay the said fund.

However, the defendant, in its objection to the suit, argued that the bank’s case disclosed no grounds under the recognised leads of winding-up proceedings under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Cap C20, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

It further argued that the petition was brought by the bank in bad faith since it was presented on the basis of a disputed debt. It also said the petitioner does not have the locus standi to continue the suit; adding that the suit constitutes an abuse of court process for which reason it urged the court to dismiss the suit.

Lambo Akanbi, the presiding judge, has however fixed December 8 for adoption of written addresses and further hearing on the matter.


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