The dissolution of Next International, a company affiliated with the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi, has caused a stir on social media after a report alleged the company was struck off from the official register at Companies House, the UK equivalent of Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission, for failing to submit its annual accounts.
A report published by PremiumTimes on Wednesday stated that Next International (UK) Limited failed to submit its annual accounts for the year 2020, hence, the company was struck off and dissolved on 7 September 2021.
“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,” the report said.
Reacting to the report, former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, berated Obi for joining the Presidential contest when he had been unable to prove his competence in successfully managing his own business.
Omokri said: “If Peter Obi can’t manage his own business, how can he manage Nigeria? Or is he planning to have Nigeria dissolved the way the UK was forced to dissolve his ill-managed business? See who wants to move Nigeria from consumption to production!”
However, checks by TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) revealed that a compulsory strike-off can be issued on the grounds that the company in question is no longer trading or has failed to conform to legal requirements.
This means that a compulsory strike-off can be voluntarily requested if directors decide they no longer have a use for the company and want to close the business down and move to another venture or if the directors of the company have reached retirement and have no one to pass the company down to.
In this case, the directors of the company seeking to cease trading will make the application and simply allow the process run. As long as there are no debts or liabilities outstanding, the company will formally close and be removed from the official register.
Head of the Obi-Datti Media Office Diran Onifade, has described as false reports that Next International, established as the buying office of Next Nigeria International Limited in 1996, was dissolved due to the failure of its directors to submit the company’s annual accounts for the year 2020.
For the record, …at the time Peter Obi became governor of Anambra State in 2006, his wife assumed management of the winding down of the company and about one year ago requested that the company be dissolved under the voluntary strike off of the entity on grounds of dissolution and being inoperative, which is normal in winding up an entity.
“Peter Obi has consistently maintained that he is no longer involved in any Next-related business. When our Principal insists that you go and verify facts about him and the information he dishes out, it didn’t say go and falsify facts.
“The LP candidate by his antecedents in Anambra State for eight years, in private ventures where he held sway, his records, among the pack in this race for the Presidency, puts him miles ahead in moral rating,” Onifade said in a statement.
Obi resigned as the director of Next International on 16 May 2008, 14 months after assuming duties as Governor of Anambra State.