N20bn debt: Court grants AMCON leave to seize Senator Odua’s assets
BY FRANCIS EZEM
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an order of injunction sought by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON, against Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Limited, owned by former Minister of Aviation, Senator Princess Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi.
Princess 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 indebtedness of about N20billion Eligible Bank Assets EBAs of Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited from Union Bank Plc, which AMCON purchased sometime in 2012.
It was gathered that despite the overtures and genuine efforts by AMCON to reach an amicable settlement, the Senator and other promoters of the company have remained recalcitrant. Thus, the corporation had approached the court, having exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution of the debt to no avail, and sought leave of the court to seize assets belonging to the Senator.
Justice M.S. Hassan in granting the injunction also held that in addition to Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited other business interests of the embattled Senator including Sea Petroleum and Gas FZE as well as Star Tourism and Hotels Limited were also covered by the injunction. AMCON has already appointed Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN as Receiver Manager over the seized assets.
Other reliefs granted by the court include 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; 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.
Also, Justice Hassan 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 kilometre 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; Filing 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; Filing station Complex, Lugbe, FCT Abuja and Agriculture Farm at Kuje, FCT Abuja.
The court had in granting the injunction held that the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspectors 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.
In compliance with the order of the court, AMCON through its Receiver, Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN, at about 11:00am last Friday, simultaneously took possession of the assets of Sea Petroleum & Gas Limited and its affiliated companies.
AMCON under the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, had maintained that there will be no sacred cows in its bid to recover the huge debts in the hands of a few Nigerians. To achieve this goal, AMCON had in recent times increased the tempo of its recovery activities using firmer negotiation strategies as well as utilising the special enforcement powers vested on the corporation by its enabling legislation, the AMCON Act to compel some recalcitrant debtors to pay up.