For failing to submit its annual accounts, UK authorities have wound up Next International (UK) Limited, a company largely owned by Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi.
An online platform, premium timesreported that the company was removed from the registry in September 2021, after a first and second official bulletin notice of a “mandatory” strike from the entity.
In the UK, creditors or the Companies Register impose a compulsory cancellation on a company for failing to file annual accounts or for failing to notify the Companies Register of a change of official registered office.
Once a company is cancelled, its details will be removed from the House of Companies register and the company will cease to exist.
Next International (UK) Limited did not submit its annual accounts for the year 2020, so the company was wound up and dissolved in 2021.
However, before a company is wound up, the UK requires the Registrar of the Companies House to send at least two formal letters to the company advising that failure to submit its annual accounts will lead to its removal from the register.
According to UK Liquidators, a financial consultancy firm, if Companies House does not receive a response to its letters, it will publish a first ‘cancellation notice’ in the Gazette, which is the official journal of public record.
The first official notice to cancel Next International was issued on June 22, 2021, then a second notice was issued on August 31, 2021. The final bulletin to dissolve the company was issued on September 7, 2021.
Prior to its final dissolution, records show that for four consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020), the UK Chamber of Companies always had to issue a “first mandatory cancellation notice” before Next International filed its annual account. Immediately after the company submits its annual accounts, a gazette will be issued to suspend the mandatory strike action.
Next International, a limited liability company, was incorporated on May 16, 1996. Mr. Obi was listed as a director, while his wife, Margaret, served as secretary. Next International (Nigeria) Limited (holding 999 ordinary shares) and Mr. Obi (holding one ordinary share) were listed as shareholders.
Records show the company was registered as “commercial agents involved in the sale of a variety of goods” in England and Wales.
The company reported taking out a mortgage from Lloyds TSB Bank Plc for a property at 53 Clyde Road, Croydon.
On May 16, 2008, 14 months after assuming his duties as Governor of Anambra State, Obi resigned as director of Next International.
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 legally required to cease to be involved in or run a private business, other than agriculture, upon becoming a public official, as provided in Section Six (6) of the Courts and Offices Act of the Code of Conduct.
The former governor admitted to Premium Times in 2021 that he failed to declare these companies and the funds and property they held in his asset disclosure filings with the Code of Conduct Office, the Nigerian government agency that deals with issues of corruption, conflict of interests. , and abuse of authority by public servants.
At the time, Obi said he was unaware that the law required him to declare assets or companies he owns along with his family or anyone else.