The Federal High Court has adjourned a suit by a company, AYM Shafa Limited, against Japaul Energy Limited over its alleged failure to repay a N153million debt.
AYM Shafa, in a petition, is praying that Japaul Energy be wound up for being insolvent and unable to pay its debts.
The petitioner said it paid Japaul Energy N153,200,000 for the supply of two million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), to be delivered between last October 5 to 12.
AYM Shafa said Japaul Energy claimed that the product was already on ground in a tank farm in Calabar, adding that the contract was entered on the assumption that the product was available for supply.
The petitioner, through its lawyer Chris Ekemezie, said Japaul Energy failed to supply the product despite repeated demands. It said when it got to the tank farm, it discovered that Japaul Energy had no PMS stored.
AYM Shafa said after two months of the respondent’s failure to supply the product, it demanded a refund of the money; Japaul Energy, it said, promised to “process” and make the refund.
“Despite this undertaking to refund the money and several other oral and written entreaties, three months after, Japaul Energy still has refused, failed and/or neglected to do so, thereby putting the petitioner in a financial quagmire,” AYM Shafa said.
The petitioner said it learnt that Japaul Energy never had the product on ground to supply, contrary to its “misrepresentation”.
AYM Shafa’s Depot Supervisor Isyaku Yahaya, in a counter-affidavit, said: “I know that the applicant is indebted to a lot of companies as well and not just to the petitioner. The only reason it has failed to pay back the money is because it is insolvent and incapable of paying its debts.”
He added that the expected date of delivery, which was April 24, had long passed with Japaul Energy still unable to commence the product’s delivery. The petitioner accused the respondent of frustrating all attempts to resolve the dispute
But, Japaul Energy said it is “very solvent given her various on-going transactions with customers across Nigeria.”
It said the money in its bank accounts “are far more than the amount of money involved in the contract…”
The company said there was only a delay in supplying product and it was not a case of inability to pay debt.
“Due to the prevailing conditions of petroleum products scarcity as is well known in the public domain, the respondent/objector could not meet up with the supply of the product within the time agreed by parties,” Japaul Energy said.
Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned till June 8 for settlement or definite hearing should Japaul Energy fail to pay the debt.