Company pays off 41 million birr debt from bounced cheque

The Federal High Court has cancelled an order requiring Rosetta Trading PLC to repay more than 40 million birr to National Oil Ethiopia (NOC), saying it is satisfied the company has cleared its debt.
The court closed the case file at a hearing this week, two months after charges were filed, requiring Rosetta to pay 40.8 million birr to NOC after two cheques bounced.
Charges were also brought against Tewodros Shiferaw, who signed the cheques, claiming he held joint responsibility with the company because he allegedly knows the cheques would bounce.
NOC went to court on 6th May, requesting that Rosetta be ordered to repay the total it owed, 40.8 million birr.
At the same hearing, NOC also requested an injunction be placed on a house owned by Tewodros, in the Bole district of Addis Ababa. The Court granted the injunction, preventing it being sold or transferred to a third party.
Rosetta argued that the charges ordering it to repay the debt went against an existing agreement, under which they had until September to repay the money: “The 40 million was to be counted from 3rd April 2013 for five months. However the plaintiff charged before five months was completed,” the company said.
Rosetta also contested NOC’s claim to the second amount, of 789,888 ETB, arguing that claim was filed after the period of limitation had lapsed.
The case had been set to go to trial and the plaintiff had paid the court fee, but judge Endashaw Hailu ordered it to be closed because the defendant paid the plaintiff on 8th July.
As well as closing the case, the court ordered the cancellation of the injunction against Tewodros’s property.
NOC, established in 2004, has more than 125 Retail Service Stations across Ethiopia. It has been credited with expanding civil aviation in the country by launching a jet fuel service.
It also supplies fuels, lubricants, bitumen, LPG and petcock.
According a statement from Rosetta, the defendant, the cheque was signed for the purpose of business and work together.