A Lagos project manager, Mr.Timothy Afolabi Babatunde, and his wife, Folashade, have dragged an architectural consultant company, Orangeline Development Limited before a Federal high Court in Lagos urging it to wind up the company for allegedly being insolvent and unable to pay its debt.
In an affidavit verifying petition sworn to by Mrs. Folashade Babatunde, and filed before the court by a legal practitioner, Mobisola Odimegwu from the law firm of Tayo Oyetibo LP, the deponent averred that sometime in 2015 Orangeline Company advertised for sale “off plan” Two bedroom and three bedroom apartment to be constructed in two blocks at its site at Olumegbon Road, off Kingsway Road, old Ikoyi, Lagos.
The company fixed the price of the two bedroom apartment at N70 million each while the Three bedroom apartments were being sold for N100million.The petitioners were told that payment would be made by purchasers of the apartments in installments, to correspond with stages of construction.
On the strength of the company’s representation the petitioners decided to purchase a two bedroom apartment for themselves and a three bedroom apartment for their daughter Miss Bolutito Babatunde who was eighteen years old.
The Petitioner paid N28 million immediate down payment for themselves and made down payment of N30 million for their daughter Bolutito for three bedroom apartment.
However, contrary to agreement to deliver the properties to the petitioner by 16th of June,2015 as stipulated by the provisional offer letters, the defendant did not complete the building by the second and fourth quarter of June 2015 and despite all their deposits the defendant had not completed the pilling up till November,2018.
Uncomfortable with the extremely slow pace of work, the Petitioners persistently demanded that the respondent refund the sum of N58 million paid, the petitioner then instructed their solicitors, Messers Tayo Oyetibo LP, to demand for a refund of the sum of N58 million which they paid to the respondent with 30% interest, as stated in their offer letter.
The respondent, by its letter of April 1,2019 admitted its indebtedness to the petitioner and proposed a payment plan by which it would commence repayment to the Petitioner on April 11,2019 and complete same by June 2019.
However, despite their repeated demands and the respondent various promises the respondent till date has failed to repay the sum of N58 million.
Consequently the Petitioner averred that the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debt and in the circumstances, it is just and equitable that the company be wound up. Therefore the Petitioner humbly prayed that Orangeline Development Limited be wound up by the court under the provisions of the companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
However, in its counter affidavit sworn to by the client relationship manager of Orangeline Development Company, Mr Dumkele Utubor and filed before the court, the deponent while not denying the payment made by the petitioners aver that, the payment was not made in accordance with the provisional letter of offer, as the payment was delayed for seven months after the offer was accepted.
The provisional offer which the Petitioners accepted contains a cancellation policy clause, which states that: “cancellation by the subscriber will attract a 15% cancellation fee on down payments and repayment will be effected from the proceeds of resale of the cancelled unit or subjected to availability of funds but not exceed completion of the project”
In addition the respondent did not give the Petitioners any assurance as to the commencement and ultimate completion of the projects.
The respondent further stated that while this petition was pending, it has made a refund of N10million from its scarce resources as no subscriber has been found to pay for the apartment subscribed to by the Petitioners, therefore it will serve best interest of justice to dismiss this petition with substantial cost.