Smooth Promotions Sues Heritage Bank for Allege Breach, Bank Brandishes Receivership Order
Smooth Promotions, a Lagos-based media company, owners of Hip Hop World, an exclusively music entertainment magazine; Hip TV and The Headies,a musical awards property, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, in Lagos against Heritage Bank, alleging that the bank has breached all acceptable professional conduct with respect to a transaction that has been the subject of a protracted disagreement.
Findings, however, revealed that the new move by Smooth Promotions might not be unconnected with the lender’s recent notice of the appointment of a Receiver/Manager for the company as published in a ThisDay Newspaper advertorial and efforts to quash its execution.
According to Smooth Promotions led by Ayo Animashaun, the company 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”, Smooth Promotions claimed.
According to the court papers, the company alleged that it lost in excess of N533,927,562 owing to the failure and refusal of Heritage Bank to insure its property against risks 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, also alleges “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”.
Smooth Promotions’ Executive Director, Adeseun Kolawole-Oyeneye who commented on the legal brawl revealed that the company will pursue all available legal means to seek redress; despite the apparent attempt by Heritage Bank to intimidate and spin the facts.
“We have gone to the courts, and we believe the justice system will intervene to make sure another honest responsible Nigerian company does not fall prey to a mafia financial institution,” she said.
In a swift response to the development, Heritage Bank countered Smooth Promotions’ claims of breach with a notice of appointment of Receiver/Manager titled Smooth Promotions Limited (In Receivership) RC 431707 published in Thisday Newspapers.
Signed by FortBanc (Solicitors and Insolvency Practitioners), it states in part: “Take notice that I, Mr. Gani-Gidado Abubakar (Solicitors and Insolvency Practitioner)… has been appointed by Heritage Bank Limited as the Receiver/Manager of Smooth Promotions over inter alia its fixed and floating assets charged as security under the All Assets Debentures Deed dated December 11,
The notice dated 30th March, 2019 further urged “All deposits, cash and other assets and company currently held by banks, financial institutions should be held until issuance of further instructions by the Receiver/Manager in accordance with the pre-emptive Orders of the Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/362/19 pending within the bosom of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Division”, it adds.