Big Brother Nigeria, MultiChoice Nigeria

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, fixed December 17 to hear a winding up petition by Vacant Board Ltd against sponsors of the Big Brother Naija (BBN) Show, Payporte Global System Ltd.

Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date for hearing, after granting a motion by the respondent seeking to regularise its processes.

At the hearing, Yemi Fajuyitan, appeared for the petitioner, while Ovoke Borlokor appeared for the respondent.

Mr Borlokor informed the court of his motion seeking an extension of time to file his reply to the petition.

This application for regularisation was not opposed by counsel to the petitioner, who also informed the court that he had filed his written replies, as well as counter affidavits.

Mr Faji consequently granted the application for the regularisation, while also fixing December 17 for hearing of the suit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petitioner had filed a debt recovery suit against Payporte, before a Lagos High Court in 2015.

The court had in its judgment delivered on May 27, 2016 awarded the sum of N23.1 million against Payporte, in favour of the petitioner.

The petitioner, however, said that on February 27, 2017 the respondent made a part payment of N5 million, leaving a balance of N17.1 million which it has failed to liquidate till date, in spite of several demand letters.

It, therefore, filed a winding up petition before the Federal High Court on December 29, 2017 asking it to wind up the company.

Meanwhile, in its notice of preliminary objection on April 25, the respondent challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain or even hear the petition.

The counsel to the respondent, Ogedi Ogu, held that the said petition for winding up, failed to comply with the provisions of Sections 5 and 6 of the Companies Winding-Up Rules, 2001.

He argued that no summons was filed by the petitioner, issued or sealed in respect of the said petition, adding that the failure rendered the petition null and void.

He said that the failure of the petitioner to file and serve the summons before the commencement of the winding up suit, robbed the honourable court of jurisdiction to hear the suit, as same cannot be competently activated in the petition as presently constituted.

Payporte, therefore, contends that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petitioner’s suit, as same is defective, bad in law, null and void, and an abuse of court process.

It urged that the winding up suit be dismissed, with substantial costs awarded against the petitioner.

(NAN)

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