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Court dismisses wind-up proceedings against Aiteo

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A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Olufemi Oguntoyinbo has dismissed a wind-up suit against indigenous oil company, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited (AEEPC).

This followed an application by AEEPC’s counsel, Mr. Emeka Ozoani (SAN), to dismiss the application of Charlietam International Services Limited (CISL), petitioner in the suit, through its counsel.

CISL, in a suit filed through its solicitors, Anthony Enyindah, Victor Okezie and Dr. Dickson Omukoro of Ntephe Smith & Wills Chamber, had urged the court to wind-up AEEPC over alleged inability to pay N259,068,753 debt.

The Rivers State-based oil servicing company, accused Aiteo of failing to pay the money for services rendered to the respondent between December 2017 and March 2019.

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It argued that the application for wind-up of the company was on the grounds of insolvency, pursuant to sections 408 and 409(a) of the Company and Allied Matters Act.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, a female counsel claiming to be representing the petitioner, informed the court that she had an undated application seeking to discontinue the petition against AEEPC.

She said: “We have a notice of discontinuance. We have served the respondents and they are aware of the application.”

Responding, AEEPC’s legal team led by Ozoani, while admitting being served with the application, told the court that they were served with the notice of discontinuance while in court that yesterday morning.

Ozoani also told the court that the petitioner had gone to the press (This Day newspaper), especially on October 19, 2019 without court order, a development he said that caused apprehension to the clients of the respondent.

He also asked for cost of N10 million against the petitioner for injuring the reputation and corporate image of Aiteo by jumping the rules of court and publishing the petition without the leave of the court.

Justice Oguntoyinbo ruled: “I have listened to the petitioner’s counsel who prayed the court to withdraw the petition after she had adopted it. The undated process is defective.

“The petitioner went against the rule of the court by having the petition published in This Day newspaper when the matter has not been heard by the court. The petitioner did not take necessary caution.

“The petition is hereby dismissed and the cost of N8 million awarded in favour of respondent against the petitioner.”


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