Owing to inability to offset a debt of N750 million, a company, Anyiam Osigwe Group Limited, has been wound-up by a Lagos Federal High Court.

The winding up of the company was sequel to it’s failure to pay the sum of N750 million debt owed an old generation commercial bank since November 2006.

Justice Ayokunle Faji on March 31, 2023, ordered the winding up of the company while delivering judgment in a marked granted FHC/L/CP/925/14, which the indebted firm was respondent.

Dr ‘Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), lawyer to the old generation commercial bank, had urged the court to wind up the indebted company, Anyiam Osigwe Group, in accordance to Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

At the commencement of proceedings, Justice Faji analysed the facts of the case and the arguments in respect of same.

The judge also addressed the sole issue distilled for determination in the petitioner’s final written address dated February 16, 2022. While agreed with Pinheiro (SAN) that the respondent failed to furnish any satisfactory evidence to show that the unliquidated debt was still being disputed, as argued by the respondent.

Justice Faji also discountenanced the Anyiam Osigwe Group’s contention that the debt was the subject of another suit marked LD/1798/09, as canvassed by it lawyer, E. I. Maduabuchi. While also noted that there was nothing in the said suit that could amount to a dispute about the debt, as the suit had been struck out and remained unlisted.

Justice Faji also discountenanced the Anyiam Osigwe Group’s contention that it was solvent and able to pay its debt. And held that the bank had proved and satisfied the court that the respondent was unable to pay its debt pursuant to Section 408(d) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004 (being the law at the time of transaction leading rise to the dispute).

Justice Faji held: “In the instant case, the respondent (Anyiam Osigwe Group) has not said that it has paid the entire sum due. It has not even shown that it has paid the principal sum of N750 million. It has only alleged paying N230 million.

“Even though a court should not hastily grant a winding up order, where there are strong grounds for doing so, particularly where the dispute as to the debt is not on substantial grounds, the Court will grant a winding up order. So it is in this case.

“This petition has immense merit and ought to and is hereby granted in its entirety.”