By Dipo Olowookere
Properties belonging to owner of HipTV and Smooth Productions, Mr Ayo Animashaun, have been allegedly taken over by Heritage Bank.
For a while, the showbiz entrepreneur and the financial institution has been at loggerheads over transactions between them.
However, things took a new twist when Heritage Bank obtained a court order to seize properties of the company, which organises the popular The Headies Award.
A document sighted by Business Post read, “Take notice that I, Mr Gani-Gidado Abubaker (Solicitor and Insolvency Practitioner) of 160A Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos has been appointed by Heritage Bank Limited as the Receiver/Manager of Smooth Promotions Limited over inter alia, its fixed and floating assets charged as security under the All Assets Debenture Deed dated December 11, 2014 and a Deed of Appointment of the Receiver/Manager dated February 11, 2019 was duly stamped by the Commissioner for Stamp duties filed at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja which issued a letter dated February 26, 2019 that the Deed of Appointment has been filed with it.
“Notice is hereby given that all the properties comprising but not limited to plants and machineries belonging to Smooth Promotions Limited and falling within the ambit of the receivership have been taken over and are now in firm possession of the Receiver/Manager.
“All debtors of the company are to pay directly to the Receiver/Manager. Also, all creditors, if any, are to send their proof of claims to the Receiver/Manager within 14 days from date of this publication.
“All deposits, cash and other Assets and company currently held by banks financial institution, should be held until issuance of further instructions by the Receiver/Manager in accordance with the pre-emptive Orders of Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/362/19 pending within the bosom of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Division.
“All holders of such deposits should contact the Receiver/Manager stating the balances and where secured facilities are granted, the type of security attached should be disclosed.”
On Thursday, Mr Animashaun disclosed that he has instructed his lawyers to file a suit in court against Heritage Bank.
He said, “So, I wanted you to hear it directly from me: I have just instructed my lawyers Kemi Pinheiro LP, to file a suit at the federal high court in Lagos, against Heritage Bank.
“I have spent over two years doing all I can to resolve this as quietly as possible, But I am now left with no choice but to use every available legal means to protect my reputation, secure my business, and get the redress and compensation I deserve.
“Heritage bank has consistently lied to us, defrauded us, and they’re now attempting to twist the facts to make us look like the bad guys. I have spent the past 25 years of my life building a name and business; and we have been nothing but responsible corporate citizens.
“I know many entrepreneurs complain about Nigerian banks and how they do nothing but try to kill us. But this particular bank picked the wrong candidate. I will not rest until I get justice and I just want to thank everyone who’s called me; and plead that you please understand that I may not be able to comment about the matter after this post, as the matter will now be in court.
“I will provide further update as soon as I am allowed to.”
It was gathered that Smooth Promotions is asking the court to reverse over N185 million in alleged interest rates over and above the agreed interest rate and other entries inputted into its account as at February 2017. These charges were revealed by an independent audit of the company’s accounts stretching back to 2013.
According to the court papers, the company says it lost in excess of N533,927,562 owing to the failure and refusal of Heritage Bank to insure its property against risk like fire, and or provide information to Smooth Promotions as to insurance on its property following a fire incident on November 6, 2017, despite debiting Smooth Promotions for the insurance premium.
The case, filed by Kemi Pinheiro LP, alleges that Heritage Bank fraudulently deducted insurance premium from Smooth Promotions’ account without remitting the money to the insurance company; charged interests that were not agreed; and a forensic audit found that almost N200 million worth of charges were not correct.
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