The United Kingdom (UK) authorities have struck off Next International (UK) Limited, a company largely owned by the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, for failing to submit 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.”
In 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 June 22, 2021, while the second notice was given on August 31, 2021. A final gazette to dissolve the company was issued on September 7, 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. Immediately the company submitted its annual accounts, a gazette will be issued to discontinue the compulsory strike-off action.
Next International was incorporated on May 16, 1996, as a private limited company. Obi was listed as a director while his wife, Margaret, served as secretary. Next International (Nigeria) Limited (with 999 ordinary shares) and 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.
The firm reported taking a mortgage from Lloyds TSB Bank Plc for a property on 53, Clyde Road, Croydon, London.
Obi reportedly resigned as director of Next International on May 16, 2008, 14 months after assuming office as governor of Anambra State.