Sani Dangote, the younger brother of the world’s richest black person, Aliko Dangote, appears to have run into a major business crisis as Union Bank has taken steps to seize his Dansa Foods Limited.
The latest development follows the inability of Sani to pay back a loan of N4billion he obtained from the bank seven years ago, following which the bank appointed Lagos lawyer, Chukwudi Enebeli as Receiver/Manager.
Dansa Foods claims Mr. Enebeli cannot represent Union Bank as he is a party to the suit.
Mr. Enebeli was appointed under the deed of debenture to take over all the assets of Dansa Foods, which has its registered office at 1, Dansa Drive, off the Badagry Expressway in Lagos.
The debenture appointing Mr. Enebeli has been filed and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja, and it claims that the balance of the loan secured have become payable as Dansa Foods has failed or neglected to meet its obligations despite the bank’s repeated demands.
In a subsequent development, the attorney and Union Bank have sued Sani Dangote and other Directors of the company at the Federal High Court in Lagos, citing “obstinacy and resistance” to his performance of his responsibilities as Receiver/Manager
The directors are Alhaji Abdulkaarim Lawal Kaita and Alhaji Ahmed Shehu Yakasai.
The suit is seeking the following orders of the court:
(1) A declaration that upon the appointment of Mr Chukwudi Enebeli as Receiver/Manager over Dansa Foods Limited the respondents who are Directors and shareholders of the company have no power or control over the company or any of its assets;
(2) A declaration that by virtue of clauses 8 and 9 of the Deed of Debenture dated 29th of May 2009 in favour of Mr. Chukwudi Enebeli the Receiver/Manager appointed by Union bank of Nigeria Plc is entitled to perform all functions specified in the deed of all assets Debenture.
(3) An order directing all creditors of Dansa Foods Limited to pay and domicile all monies due, incomes, or receivables accruing to or due to the company into the receivership account opened by the Receiver/Manager in Union Bank Plc.
(4)A order of the court directing the Receiver/Manager in exercise and discharge of his function to take such steps as may be necessary and exercise such powers including the powers to take over and apply in realization of the company's debt to Union Bank Plc all monies due to the company.
(5) An order restraining all the respondents and their agents from disturbing the Receiver/Manager from exercising. Powers vested in him whether by himself or his agents.
(6) An order directing all Police Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or other officers concerned with security and enforcement of order to with "The Inspector General of Police, Assistant. Inspector General of Police and other Police officers so instructed by the Receiver/Manager to assist him in the performance of his duties.
An affidavit sworn to by Mrs. Olorunfunmilola Ayoola, the head of the Food team of Union bank, averred that the bank granted Dansa Foods Limited in 2008 the loan amounting to N5,200,000,000
According to her, it comprised:
(1)Overdraft - N500million
(2)Short term loan for advertisement - N500million
(3)Equipment lease- US$2,500,000 (N300million)
(4)Equipment lease (sale and lease back) - US$2,500,000 (N300milion)
(5)Import Finance - US$30,000,000 (3,600,000,000)
She averred that the loan was disbursed to Dansa Foods company and fully utilized by the company. The company duly executed a deed of all assets debenture in favour of Union bank.
Mrs Ayoola averred further that the loans granted to the company are depositors’ funds and if not recovered through the Receiver/Manager, the survival of the bank will be jeopardized in view of the amount of the indebtedness. She consequently urged the court to grant the prayers of the bank so as to prevent the respondents who are directors and shareholders of the company from dissipating the assets of the company and for the effective discharge of the powers of the Receiver/Manager.
In a preliminary objection the respondents urged the court to strike out the suit on the ground that Mr. Enebeli, being a party in the suit, lacks the capacity to act as counsel for parties in the suit.
They also contended that the court processes were signed by Mr. Enebeli as counsel acting for Union bank plc and Dansa Foods Limited in receivership.
The presiding judge, Mohammed Yunusa, will deliver judgement in the matter on October 19.