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Emzor Pharm. Faces Winding-Up Petition From Nova Merchant Bank Over N6.2Bn Debt

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Emzor Pharmaceutical

Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries is embroiled in a debt scandal as Nova Merchant Bank Limited has filed a winding-up petition before the Federal High Court in Lagos. The bank aims to recover a loan of N6.2 billion granted to Emzor Pharmaceuticals.

 

The suit, marked FHC/L/CP/1044/2024, has been assigned to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke. The respondents include Central Securities Clearing System Plc, Access Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Citi Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Polaris Bank Plc, Providus Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, TAJ Bank Limited, WEMA Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc.

Nova Merchant Bank, represented by counsel Mr. Oluwakemi Balogun SAN, issued a statutory three-week demand notice to Emzor Pharmaceuticals, as required by Section 572 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020. The bank claims that the demand period has lapsed without payment or satisfactory arrangements from Emzor.

Balogun argued that Emzor is unable to liquidate its indebtedness, citing Section 574(1) of CAMA, the 1999 Constitution, Rule 183 of the Companies Winding-Up Rules, 2001, and JB Order 30 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019. He expressed concerns that Emzor’s assets could be dissipated without a restraining order.

According to an affidavit by Azeezat Adeniji, a Principal Officer at Nova Merchant Bank, Emzor Pharmaceuticals received a two-part credit facility in April 2022: $4.58 million for raw material imports and N500 million to augment working capital. The facilities were secured by an all-asset debenture and a personal guarantee from Stella Okoli, Emzor’s Managing Director.

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Despite multiple notices and a statutory demand letter served in March 2024, Emzor has not repaid the loan. Consequently, Nova Merchant Bank is seeking an order to appoint the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Lagos, as Provisional Liquidator to oversee Emzor’s operations pending the court’s decision on the winding-up petition.

The bank also seeks interlocutory injunctions to prevent Emzor from tampering with its funds and assets, and to compel the respondents to disclose all assets and funds in Emzor’s name up to the outstanding amount of N6.2 billion.

Justice Aneke has adjourned the case to July 12 for hearing.

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