A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday has granted an injunction against Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Limited, whose chief promoter is former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, on the application of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, a serving member of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been having a running battle with AMCON over her inability to settle her huge debt of nearly N20 billion.
AMCON purchased the Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) of Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited from Union Bank Plc sometime in 2012. But despite the overtures and genuine efforts made by AMCON to reach an amicable settlement, the Senator and her co-promoters have remained adamant.
Having exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution of the huge debt, AMCON referred the matter to court.
The order also affects Oduah-Ogiemwonyi’s other business interests for which AMCON has since appointed Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN as Receiver over the assets of Oduah-Ogiemwonyi; Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Limited; Sea Petroleum and Gas FZE as well as Star Tourism and Hotels Limited.
The court also ordered the freezing of the funds of Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited and its affiliated companies and principal promoters held anywhere by any entity or persons in Nigeria and authorised AMCON and its Receiver, Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN to take over all assets pledged as collateral for the facility by Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Limited.
Hon. Justice M.S. Hassan in his ruling, specifically ordered Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Limited and its affiliated companies to hand over the company’s business, which sits on over 9000 square kilometres of land in the fastest developing area of Lagos State along the Lekki-Epe Express Way; two tank farms of 500 metric tonnes capacity; a property at Maiyegun Tourism Zone, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 11, Lagos Island and a filling station complex at Kkilometre 14, Lekki Epe Expressway, Ikota, Lagos State.
The court order also listed a host of other assets across the country including Plot 2, block 12C, Babafemi Osapa Crescent Lekki, Lagos State; Block 5, House 4A Mobolaji Johnson Estate, Lekki, Lagos State; Office/filling station at Jakande, Lekki, Lagos State; Office complex 1, 2 and 3, Km 14, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ikota, Lagos State; filling station complex at Km 14, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ikota Lagos State; staff residential quarters, Ikota, Lagos State; E25-E36, Gat Oboh Drive, Millennium Estate, Oniru, Lagos State and F3-F5, SPG Road, Millennium Estate, Oniru, Lagos State.
The rest include, SPG Agungi 2 Lekki Lagos State; office/filling station complex at Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, FCT, Abuja; Gas plant at Karu, FCT, Abuja; filling station complex, Lugbe, FCT Abuja and Agriculture Farm at Kuje, FCT Abuja.
In compliance with the order of the court, AMCON through its Receiver, Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN, at about 11 am yesterday, simultaneously took possession of the assets of Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited and its affiliated companies.
The court, in granting the injunction, ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos State, their deputies and all other police officers under them to assist Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN, the Receiver and the Bailiffs of the Federal High Court in the enforcement of the orders.
AMCON under Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, has maintained that there will be no sacred cows in its bid to recover the huge debts in the hands of a few Nigerians.
To deal with the situation however, AMCON has in recent times increased the tempo of its recovery activities, using firmer negotiation strategies as well as utilising the special enforcement powers vested by the AMCON Act to compel some of its recalcitrant debtors, especially those that are politically exposed and business heavyweights, to repay their debts.