Justice Ayokunle Faji of Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed November 26, 2020, for hearing of a suit filed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, over alleged N135 billion unpaid debt.
Justice Faji fixed the new date Wednesday after lawyer to the AMCON, Mr. Omotayo Olatunbosun, informed the court that the Corporation has served the hearing notice of the suit at Ubah’s last known address, but surprised the respondent was not represented in court.
AMCON told the court it has taken all necessary steps to ensure that the debt matter between the Senator and the Corporation is resolved amicably, but the negotiations were allegedly frustrated by the obligor.
The statement explained that the Federal Government and AMCON did not humiliate Senator Ubah in respect of any charge against him.
According to the AMCON, the charge in court is between the Federal Government of Nigeria against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
“As a matter of fact, the subsisting Consent Judgment, which the Senator made allusions to was once disallowed by the Senator himself on behalf of Capital Oil, which served as a setback to the satisfaction of the Consent Judgment,” the statement said.
“The implication of that is that by AMCON records, there is no mediation ongoing in respect of the indebtedness of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited with AMCON. However, AMCON will not shut its doors to further discussions to see how the N135 billion debt is resolved. Addressing other issues in this matter rather than the facts is somewhat distractive because AMCON being a responsible corporate organisation did not paint Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and will not paint him as a fraudulent Nigerian. AMCON wants the debt resolved”.
“The fact is that Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited and its Directors are indebted to AMCON. The Corporation acquired the non-performing loans of Capital Oil & Gas from various banks and has since 2012 pursued the recovery/repayment of the loans in line with its mandate and the provisions of the AMCON Act, as amended. In pursuance of recovery of the non-performing loan of Capital Oil & Gas, AMCON sued Capital Oil in Suit NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 and obtained an order of court ex-parte. AMCON did not ambush Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited but took over the assets of Capital Oil in line with the ex-parte order granted by the Court,” the statement said.
The mandate of AMCON includes to complement businesses for the sake of the Nigerian economy and the Consent Judgment, which is subsisting has not been enforced due to series of frustrations by Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited, which has continued to argue that the assets in schedule 1 of the Consent Judgment were not transferred (forfeited) to AMCON, but pledged/mortgaged to AMCON, which is erroneous and not the terms of the Consent Judgment.
“On the valuation of assets, AMCON and the Senator also had issues with the assets the Corporation found overvalued, which was why the Consent Judgment also provided that Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah should provide assets to AMCON with aggregate market value of N78.55 billion as described in schedule 1 of the Consent Judgment as part payment to reduce the aggregate value of Capital Oil’s outstanding debt. In the event of shortfall between the value of the transferred assets were less than N78.55billion expectation, Capital Oil is to bring additional assets. Capital Oil however refused, thereby frustrating the Consent Judgment meaning that the issue of valuation and compliance with N78.55billion is yet to be resolved”.
“The issue of appointment of Ryan Johansson to Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited, was done in line with clause 3.16, sub-clause 3.16.1 of the Consent Judgment. It would be recalled that the clauses require that a new Board of Directors be constituted for Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited. Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited frustrated the clauses, because it did not appoint anyone to constitute a new Board of Directors for Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited”.
As far as AMCON is concerned, by Clause 2.4 of the Consent Judgment, Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited failed to abide by the terms of the Consent Judgment. Meaning that AMCON is therefore allowed to discharge and release itself from obligations under the terms of the Consent Judgment, and in this circumstance, Capital Oil & Gas debt together with accrued interest has crystallised and has become immediately due and enforceable by AMCON, the Corporation in statement signed by Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications, stated.