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Access Bank v. AP: Legal tussle begins over $35.15m loan

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A legal tussle on Wednesday began at the Federal High Court in Lagos over a winding up petition filed by the Access Bank Plc against African Petroleum Plc.
The bank is asking the court to wind up the oil firm on the grounds that the latter allegedly defaulted in the payment of a $35.15m loan facility.
But the AP had faulted the petition and filed a preliminary objection and courter-affidavit against the matter.
Lawyer to the AP, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), told Justice Ibrahim Auta that his client was served with the petition on July 20.
He said, “Based on the development, we are ready to proceed with hearing of the matter.”
But the lawyer to Access Bank, Mr. Norrison Quakers, urged the court to direct the parties to file written addresses before the hearing of the petition.
He said, “The Civil Procedure Rules of the Federal High Court stipulates that written addresses must be filed in support or opposition to a petition.
Responding, Ajibade insisted that a written address was not required in a winding up petition, and urged the court to grant a short adjournment.
He said, “This petition has been advertised and is causing a lot of inconveniencies on my client. So, if the court is minded of granting an adjournment, it should be a short one.”
Justice Auta consequently adjourned the case till July 27 for the hearing of the petition and directed that written addresses should not be filed.
Access Bank had claimed that on December 17, 2007, it granted an N100m facility in form of a Trade Finance Line (TFC) to the AP.


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