UK authorities dissolve Peter Obi’s company, Next International (UK) Limited KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

UK authorities dissolve Peter Obi’s company, Next International (UK) Limited

UK authorities dissolve Peter Obi’s company, Next International.

For failing to submit its annual accounts, authorities in the United Kingdom, UK, have struck off Next International (UK) Limited, a company largely owned by Nigerian top politician and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

Checks by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the company was removed from the record in September 2021 following a first and second gazette notice of “compulsory” strike off of the entity.

In the UK, a compulsory strike off is imposed on a company by creditors or by the Companies House for non-submission of annual accounts or failure to notify Companies House about a change of official registered office address. Once a company is struck off, its details will be removed from Companies House register and the company ceases to exist.

Next International (UK) Limited failed to submit its annual accounts for the year 2020, hence, the company was struck off and dissolved in 2021.

Before a company is struck off, however, the UK requires the Companies House’s Registrar to send at least two formal letters to the company warning that a failure to file its annual accounts will lead to its removal from the register.

According to UK Liquidators, a financial consulting firm, if Companies House receives no reply to its letters, it will then publish a first ‘strike off notice’ in the Gazette, which is the official journal of public record.

The first official notice to strike off Next International was issued on 22nd June 2021, then a second notice was given on 31st August 2021. A final gazette to dissolve the company was issued on 7th September 2021.

Before its final dissolution, records show that for four consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) the UK Companies House had to always issue a “first gazette notice for compulsory strike-off” before Next International filed its annual account. Then immediately the company submitted its annual accounts, a gazette will be issued to discontinue the compulsory strike-off action.

He took office on March 17, 2006 but continued to serve as a director of the company in violation of Nigerian law.

In Nigeria, a person is statutorily required to withdraw from engaging in or directing a private business, except if it is farming, upon becoming a public officer, Section Six (6) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act provides.

The former governor admitted to PREMIUM TIMES in 2021 that he did not declare these companies and the funds and properties they held in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Nigerian government agency that deals with the issues of corruption, conflict of interest, and abuse of office by public servants.

Obi’s claim was in response to questions on economic development, Anambra politics and his presidential ambition.

“… Anambra state is the single-highest shareholder in that facility. I invested in it, over $20 million,” Obi had said.

“It is worth almost $100 [million] today. That’s what government should do.”

TheCable had previously fact-checked some of the claims.

Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, also debunked a recent statement ascribed to him regarding the investment.

International Breweries (IB) Plc is a subsidiary of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) — a multinational drink and brewing giant based in Leuven, Belgium.

In its 2021 audited financial statement, the company said it holds 43 percent economic interest in International Breweries Plc, a publicly listed company in Nigeria.

According to a report by The Nation, AB InBev merged its Nigerian operations under a single corporate entity in 2017. It had three indirect Nigerian subsidiaries — International Breweries Plc, Intafact Beverages Limited and Pabod Breweries Limited. SABMiller Nigeria Holdings BV — another subsidiary of AB InBev — was also a major stakeholder in Intafact and Pabod.

In a statement made available to TheCable on Tuesday, Ifeatu Onejeme, Anambra’s commissioner of finance, confirmed that Peter Obi’s administration invested the sum of N1,955,535,247.00 (an equivalent of approximately $12,616,356.43 at the then average CBN exchange rate of N155.00/$1) in Intafact Beverages Limited, a green-field brewery set up in Onitsha by SABMiller Breweries of South Africa in 2012.

Onejeme added that the state government still holds 407,321,264 ordinary shares of International Breweries Plc in exchange for the Intafact Beverages Limited investment.

“Based on the NGX closing price of N5.50 as of 20/6/22, these shares were valued at N2,240,266,952 on that date,” the statement reads in part.

“Based on the Central Bank of Nigeria I&E exchange rate of N415.75/US$1.00 on same June 20, 2022, this investment was valued at an equivalent of approximately US$5,388,495.37 (and at N604/$1.00 parallel market rate, only US$3,709,051.24).”

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