Once the current lock down of courts over the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, hearing will begin in a winding up petition filed by Marine Platforms Limited, an oil and gas company, against CNS Marine Nigeria Limited, a freight forwarder and clearing agent.
The winding up petition filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos arose due the inability of the company to offset its debt of $271,452.06 and N237,290,009.00
In an affidavit in support of the petition sworn to by Aderonke Aikomo, company secretary of Marine Platforms and filed by ‘Wale Adesokan, senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN, the current legal action began in January 2019 CNS Marine Nigeria Limited entered into a contract with Marine Platforms Limited for the provision of remotely Operated Vehicle and offshore construction support services.
The Petitioner claimed that to actualise the terms of the contract it deployed the contractual equipment on February 6, 2019 and that the two remotely operated vehicles deployed were accepted by the respondent as fit for the purpose of the contract and signed mobilization acceptance form dated February 20,2019.
The respondent contracted with the petitioner that the respondent would pay for the services it rendered 30 days of receipt of invoice.
On April 2, 2019 Marine Platforms wrote a letter to the respondent of its breach of contract by not paying for the services rendered even though the petitioner has sent various invoices for the several amounts due to it.
On April 26, 2019, the Petitioner claimed that after much plea, it wrote a letter to the respondent intimating it of their agreement to only give the respondent $54,000 discount remote operated Vehicles equipment for March invoice sent to the respondent.
Two months after, the parties on June 27, 2019 further amended the contract in amendment number two after applying a discount to reflect the sum of $1,102,190.36 and N257,094,620.68 being the debt which the respondent must fully pay before August 8, 2019 failing which the petitioner shall cancel the discount it gave the respondent and revert to the original outstanding balance of $1,227,883,27 and N280,514,337.
As at the time of filing this petition the indebtedness of CNS Marine to Marine Platform Limited stood at $271,452.06 and N237,290,009.
After waiting in vain for the respondent to pay the Petitioner through its Solicitors, Messrs Adesokan and Company wrote a letter of demand dated March 2, 2020 to the respondent. But rather than reply,
the respondent called for a meeting which was subsequently held in its office. While acknowledging its indebtedness it cited persistent deteriorating financial conditions as being responsible for its inability to pay the petitioner the sum of $271,452.06 and N237,290,009 less all taxes. This was agreed as the final settlement due to the petitioner.
But till date, the debtor has refused or neglected to the outstanding sums. Thus, Marine Platforms is contending before the court that CNS Marine Nigeria Limited is insolvent and unable to pay its as attested to by various letters written to the petitioner and the consistent attitude of the respondent in non-payment and servicing of its debts.
The petitioner said in the circumstances, it is just and equitable that the respondent be wound up. It then prayed:
1. That CNS Marine Nigeria Limited be wound up by the court in accordance with the provision of the Company and Allied Matters Act.
2.That the Honourable Court appoint liquidator to supervise the winding up process and to pay the petitioner $271,452.06 and N237,290,009.being the final settlement due the petitioner with interest at 25% per annum from August 8,2019 until full payment and to pay other creditors as may be entitled by their claims.
3. And such order may be made in the circumstances as the court shall deem fit.