Loan Palaver: Oil Company Battles Bank PHB

An oil company, Fymak Marine Oil Services Nigeria Limited, which was advertised to be wound up as a result of alleged inability to pay the debt it owed bank PHB Plc has regarded the petition as an attempt to blackmail it and paralyse its business.

In an affidavit sworn to by a litigation manager, Mr. Victor Ojo and filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos State, Nigeria, by Barrister Olumide Braithewaite, the deponent averred that the company whose name has changed to Fymak Marine and Oil Services Nigeria Limited is in no way indebted to Bank PHB in the sum of N270,999,999 as alleged by the bank.

Mr. Ojo agreed that the bank granted the company the loan of N450 million, but the bank has sold 10 million units of the company’s GTB Bank Plc shares equivalent of N134,851,651.08 towards part liquidation of the loan.

On 15 October, 2009, the petition requested the respondent to make a bullet payment of N100 million on or before 20 October, 2009 after which the bank shall restructure the net balance after deduction of excess charges over a period of  180 days.

The respondent complied and paid N100 million. The company also made subsequent payments towards liquidation of the facility given for the restructure of the balance agreed between Bank PBH and Fymak company had not lapsed the time of filing this suit.

In addition, it was averred that the petitions was commence without first ascertaining what the excess bank charges were and its implication on the alleged indebtedness and without waiting for the 180 days restructuring plan to mature.

The letter of demand allegedly written by the solicitor of the bank, Mr. Oluwakemi Balogun, was never delivered to the company.

It was also contended that the bank suppressed material facts from the court as a result of which the court was deceived and misled to assume jurisdiction and make the order it made.

The respondent, therefore, averred that the petition is a flagrant abuse of the court process and deliberate suppression of material facts in furtherance of a fraudulent agenda to blackmail the company and paralyse its business.

Further hearing has been adjourned till 6th of July 2010.