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Court Sets December 17 for Suit to Wind Up #BBNaija Sponsor Payporte

A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday fixed December 17 for hearing a winding-up petition filed by Vacant Board Limited against sponsors of this year’s Big Brother Naija (BBN) show, Payporte Global System Limited.

Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date for hearing after granting a motion by the respondent seeking to regularise its processes.

At the hearing, Mr Yemi Fajuyitan appeared for the petitioner, while Mr Ovoke Borlokor appeared for the respondent.

Borlokor informed the court of his motion seeking an extension of time to file his reply to the petition.

This application for regularisation was not opposed by counsel to the petitioner, who also informed the court that he had filed his written replies as well as counter affidavits.

Justice Faji granted the application for the regularisation and fixed December 17 for hearing of the suit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petitioner had filed a debt recovery suit against Payporte before a Lagos High Court in 2015.

The court, in its judgment delivered on May 27, 2016, awarded N23.1 million against Payporte, in favour of the petitioner.

The petitioner recalled that on February 27, last year, the respondent made a part-payment of N5 million, leaving a balance of N17.1 million, which it failed to liquidate till date, despite several demand letters.

It filed a winding-up petition before the Federal High Court on December 29, last year, asking it to wind up the company.

Also, in its notice of preliminary objection on April 25, the respondent challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain or even hear the petition.

The counsel to the respondent, Mr Ogedi Ogu, averred that the petition for winding-up failed to comply with the provisions of sections 5 and 6 of the Companies Winding-Up Rules, 2001.

The lawyer argued that no summons was filed by the petitioner, issued or sealed in respect of the said petition, adding that the failure rendered the petition null and void.

He said the failure of the petitioner to file and serve the summons before the commencement of the winding-up suit robbed the court of the jurisdiction to hear the suit, as same cannot be competently activated in the petition as presently constituted.

Payporte contends that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petitioner’s suit.

The company said it is defective, bad in law, null and void and constituted an abuse of court process.

It averred that the winding-up suit be dismissed with substantial costs awarded against the petitioner.

 

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