ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Next International (UK) Limited, largely owned by Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has been struck off by the authorities in the United Kingdom, UK.
According to the UK authorities, the company failed to turn in its annual accounts.
According to Premium Times, the company was removed from the record in September 2021 following a first and second gazette notice of “compulsory” strike off of the entity.
Report shows that 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.
It further shows that once a company is struck off, its details will be removed from Companies House register and the company ceases to exist.
However, Next International (UK) Limited failed to submit its annual accounts for the year 2020, hence, the company was struck off and dissolved in 2021.
It was gathered that before a company is struck off, 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.
If the Companies House, a UK Liquidators, which is a financial consulting firm, 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, Premium Times reports further.
Meanwhile, 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.
Note that Next International, a private limited company, was incorporated on 16t May 1996. Mr Obi, the owner, was listed as a director while his wife, Margaret, served as secretary.
Next International (Nigeria) Limited (with 999 ordinary shares) and Mr Obi (with one ordinary share) were listed as shareholders.
Records show that the company was registered as business “agents involved in the sale of a variety of goods” in England and Wales.
On 16 May 2008, 14 months after assuming duties as governor of Anambra State, Mr Obi resigned as the director of Next International.
The former Anambra State 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.
At the time, Mr. Obi said he was unaware that the law expected him to declare assets or companies he jointly owns with his family members or anyone else.