19 December 2012

Nigeria: AMCON Insists On Possessing Capital Oil Assets

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it would not yield possession of the assets of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, temporarily forfeited to it by virtue of a Federal High Court order of November 13 this year.

AMCON said in a statement yesterday, that it would remain in possession of the assets pending the determination of the appeal it filed against the court's later ruling, reversing its November 13 decision.

Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja had, in the suit by AMCON, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 against Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited and Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, via an order ex-parte, granted AMCON possession of certain assets of the defendants pending the final determination of the substantive suit.

The assets covered by the Court order include landed properties; some of which are facilities containing large quantities of petroleum products running into billions of naira.

On December 12, 2012 Justice Abdu-Kafarati discharged order of possession granted AMCON and ordered that the Defendants be allowed to continue to run their business and pay their debt to AMCON as they can.

The judge also ordered that parties should resolve their dispute amicably in the interest of the economy.

Justice Abdu Kafarati refused AMCON's application for the sale of the petroleum products in the defendants' facilities, which have been leaking and posed serious security risks as well as public health hazard, but instead, adjourned hearing to January 18 next year.

Dissatisfied, AMCON appealed the court's decision of December 12 and filed an application praying for an order of stay of execution and injunction pending appeal.

It is also seeking an order mandating the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to provide security to secure the assets of the defendants, and an order for the immediate sale of the petroleum products in the defendant's tank farms.

AMCON prayed the court to order that proceeds from the sale be paid into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Court pending the final determination of the suit.

It hinged its decision to maintain possession over the assets on the ground that the defendants were at the risk of not being able to recover the over N65billion debt owed four local banks by the defendants.

AMCON contended that not only have the defendants admitted owing it and three local banks over N90billion, it was aware of the order of the High Court of England granting a world-wide freezing injunction against the assets of Defendants to the value of a staggering sum of US133,518,230.36.

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