Incredible scenes this March 24, 2021 at the Wouri High Court in Bonanjo, and at the head office of the Equatorial Company for Savings and Investment (Comeci) in Akwa-Douala. Dozens of creditors of the second category microfinance institution rushed to these two public services to inquire about the situation of their claims against this bankrupt financial institution. Faced with the clerk of the Wouri High Court, HH, one of Comeci SA’s creditors, relies on a microfinance note published in social networks: “creditors are invited within 60 days from March 24 2021 to deposit their debt securities at the Wouri High Court for the smooth running of the liquidation procedure. Creditors residing outside the country benefit from a period of 90 days. At the Wouri High Court, it is said not to be aware of this announcement: “they asked us to get closer to the leaders of Comeci”, laments HH Good sources, scammers usurped the quality of Comeci agent, and offered their debt collection services to interested parties.
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At the same time at a place called “Former Dalip Ecotex”, headquarters of Comeci SA, the tension is perceptible. A sparse crowd awaits clarifications on the statement visible on the social network Facebook. Tired of waiting for a hypothetical payment, some are demanding the immediate payment of their debts: “the farce continues”, is indignant a former saver. Faced with this vagueness of procedure between the Wouri High Court and the former leaders of Comeci SA, Mr. Touwoua, the bank liquidator and trustee of the liquidation, sheds light on March 24, 2021 on the confused situation within Comeci SA: “all Comeci SA creditors are kindly requested to file their claims with the bank liquidator and trustee at its offices within 60 days of this publication”.
The related supporting documents concern the supporting documents for deposits and debt securities. The exit of the bank liquidator will put an end to the doubt that hovered between Comeci creditors. Exit in accordance with Article 37 of the Ohada Uniform Act relating to collective proceedings, and Article 78 which provides: “from the decision to open the receivership or the liquidation of assets and until the expiration of a period of sixty days following the second insertion in a newspaper of legal announcements of the State party concerned as defined in article 1-3, all the creditors composing the mass, with the exception of the creditors of maintenance, must, under pain of foreclosure, file their claims with the trustee”. The same obligation is made to the creditor who introduced, before the decision, a procedure in condemnation under a title, to make recognize his right.
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Former Comeci SA savers and potential creditors living on Cameroonian territory have until May 24, 2021, a clear deadline, to file their accounting and administrative documents.
The Court notes the cessation of payment of Comeci SA
It was on December 14, 2020, after a long procedure, that the fate of Comeci SA savers was sealed by the Wouri High Court, Commercial Chamber. The Departmental High Court declared, after having ruled publicly and contradictorily, and in first instance with regard to the parties, Comeci SA “in cessation of payment since April 27, 2019”. The Wouri High Court also ordered the opening of the liquidation of the assets of the second category microfinance institution, in accordance with Articles 25, 51, 33 and 37 of the Ohada Uniform Act on the organization of procedures. debt settlement procedures, and 94 of the CEMAC Regulation relating to the treatment of credit institutions in difficulty in the CEMAC zone. The follow-up of this hot file is now ensured by the named Towoua, as trustee and bank liquidator, and by Marthe Séverine Bella Mendo, judge at the Wouri High Court, as supervising judge. Nearly 1,000 savers are affected by the liquidation of assets committed since December 2020. For a social debt estimated at several tens of billions of FCFA.
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Nevertheless, many questions arise despite the judicial opening of the decisive phase of liquidation of Comeci SA Do the bank liquidator and the Wouri High Court have the consolidated list of assets of the microfinance institution? What is the value of the assets placed under liquidation? How many creditors will benefit from the liquidation given the supporting documents required? Up to what amount will the ex-savers be liquidated? Mysteries to be elucidated after 60 and 90 days of collection of supporting documents by the liquidation team.
Comeci SA bears the brunt of catastrophic management, risky investments and conflicts between shareholders. The march towards bankruptcy of this microfinance has its sources in 2016. At the end of 2017, the leaders of Comeci SA already declared abysmal losses of nearly 8.3 billion FCFA after a general meeting under tension. Losses officially due to difficulties in enforced collection of microfinance debts.
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