Access Bank Plc has sealed the corporate headquarters of Seplat Petroleum Development Company over a loan owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited, a drilling services company.
Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat. The sealing of its headquarters has prompted Seplat to announce that it will sue Access Bank for the sealing of its property.
In a press release seen by Nairametrics, Access Bank sealed the premises of the Seplat due to its relationship with Cardinal Services Limited. The move by Access Bank has triggered a corporate battle between the bank and Seplat with the latter claiming it is not an obligor of a loan to Access Bank. The Cardinal Drilling Services loan was originally obtained from Diamond Bank in 2012 and collapsed into Access Bank after their merger.
Nairametrics understands Seplat helped mid-wife Cardinal Drilling Nigeria Ltd helped the latter unlock 60% of its equity in a joint venture with Maurel & Prom.
What they are saying
A part of the press statement issued by Seplat, signed by its company’s Secretary and General Counsel, Mrs. Edith Onwuchekwa, and seen by Nairametrics reads thus:
“We understand that Cardinal Drilling has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank. However, SEPLAT is neither a shareholder in Cardinal Drilling nor has outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank and did not at any time make any commitments or guarantees in respect of Cardinal Drilling’s loan obligations to Access Bank. SEPLAT strongly believes that there is no merit or justification for this action against it and has taken prompt legal action to vacate the court order pursuant to which the building was sealed.
“This action was taken by Access Bank without any prior notice to SEPLAT, as required under Nigerian law. SEPLAT will vigorously defend against this improper action to the full extent of the law and will seek all appropriate legal remedies.”
What you should know
According to findings by Nairametrics, the third-party – Cardinal Drilling Service Limited, which provides drilling services to Seplat, has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank, prompting the legal action.
- Nairametrics understands Seplat’s corporate headquarters at 16A Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos was sealed, while a Mareva injunction has been obtained by the bank to seize its bank accounts and other assets owned by Seplat.
- A Mareva injunction is a court order freezing a debtor’s assets to prevent them from being taken abroad.
- The court order obtained by Access Bank to seize the assets of Seplat included Seplat Chairman, ABC Orjiakor, Managing Director of Cardinal Drilling Services, Kalu Nwosu, and Cardinal Drilling Services as defendants.
- The court also appointed Kunle Ogunba SAN as the receiver-manager for the assets of the defendants.