The management of Sahara Energy Resource Limited (Nigeria) has dismissed the petition by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) stating that it has no outstanding facilities with the bank
UBA was reported to have filed a wind up petition before a Federal High Court in Lagos against the company over an alleged inability of Sahara Energy Resources to pay a debit of $42,282,430 or N15.2 billion loan.
The bank said Sahara Energy stood as a guarantor for KEPCO Energy Resources Limited (KEPCO) to access a loan of $35 million in August 2013, which it has not been able to pay back.
In a response to the petition at the weekend,the management of Sahara Group said in a statement that it had instructed its lawyers to take necessary steps to ensure UBA’s petition is dismissed.
The company therefore assured its esteemed clients, bankers, suppliers, stakeholders and the general public that Sahara Energy Resources Limited (SERL) that its legal team are taking all lawful steps to ensure that SERL interest is vigorously defended and SERL has implicit confidence in the Nigerian judiciary to resolve the matter and dispense justice between the parties,
The statement stated thus:.“The attention of Sahara Energy Resource Limited (Nigeria) (“SERL”) and the entire Sahara Group has been drawn to a publication in the Guardian Newspaper of 11th April 2019 made by United Bank for Africa Plc (“UBA”) and their counsel pursuant to the ex parte order made by the Honorable Mr. Justice Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, in Suit No. FHC/L/CP/387/19 pursuant to a winding up petition in Suit No. FHC/L/CP/387/19.”
It stated that Sahara has reviewed the publication and wish to comment as follows: “SERL is not indebted to UBA, has no outstanding facilities with UBA nor did it borrow any money from UBA in any loan transaction that is the subject matter of either the civil petition (FHC/L/CP/387/19) or the civil summons (FHC/L/CS/387/19 as advertised) that formed the subject of the ex parte order”
It stated that SERL did not grant a direct guarantee to UBA on any loan transaction that UBA could unilaterally enforce or sue on adding that SERL and one of its affiliate companies, NG Power-HPS Limited sued UBA in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/236/19 at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on 13th February 2019, claiming a number of declarative and injunctive remedies relating to unorthodox methods employed by UBA in relation to its dealings with the Plaintiffs.
UBA on the other hand, on 12th March 2019 sued New Electricity Distribution Company Limited and SERL along with two other institutions, First Trustees Limited and Ecobank Capital Limited in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/382/2019, by way of Originating Summons, claiming certain declarations and injunctions to which SERL has filed full and comprehensive response.
“The two suits in paragraphs 3 and 4 have been set down for hearing before the Federal High Court in Lagos on 30th May 2019”
While the above two suits are pending and have been set down for hearing, UBA commenced a third suit on the 13th of March, and applied ex parte, (and without putting SERL on notice before serving the petition) obtained an order ex parte to advertise the petition. This petition according to SERL was only served on it at about 12.25 p.m. on 11th April 2019 after it has been advertised as aforesaid.