The head office of Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has remained shut, a full week after it was sealed off on the back of a court order instituted by Access Bank Plc.
According to reliable sources, both parties appeared in court during the week, with Seplat seeking the court’s approval to vacate court orders. However, we understand their bid was unsuccessful, meaning that the company’s headquarters might remain closed during the Christmas season.
Sources from Seplat and Access Bank respectively confirmed to Nairametrics that they met in court during the week and that the case was adjourned till Monday 14th of December 2020.
Seplat informed the Nigerian Stock Exchange last week that it would fight to overturn the court injunction obtained by Seplat to seal off its offices, claiming that Access Bank had no proof that it guaranteed the loan on behalf of Cardinal Drilling Services.
Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, GM, Ext Affairs & Communications, told Nairametrics that Seplat never guaranteed the facility.
She said, “There should be a document to back such claim. We await the proof of such guarantee.”
When Nairametrics contacted Abdul Imoyo, the spokesperson Access Bank, on the development, he promised to get back to us after he had consulted the legal team of the bank.
Access Bank, however, claims that Seplat is a related party, insinuating that ABC Orjiakor, Chairman of Seplat, obtained the loan from Diamond Bank, using Cardinal Drilling Services as a smokescreen, as Seplat was to be the ultimate beneficiary of the service.
What you should know
Access Bank Plc has sealed off the corporate headquarters of Seplat Petroleum Development Company over a loan owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited, a drilling services company.
- The bank obtained an Ex-Parte order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal off the headquarters of Seplat, which prompted Seplat to announce that it would sue Access Bank in response.
- The move by Access Bank has triggered a corporate battle between the bank and Seplat, with the latter claiming that 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 detailed how Seplat got roped in here.
Seplat HQ shut till next year?
With their inability to get the court to vacate the order, Seplat risks being unable to access their office premises, at least till the new year, except it gets the court to vacate the order at the next sitting on Monday, 14th of December, 2020.
- The Federal High Court is expected to proceed on Christmas vacation for the year on December 22, 2020, and resume sitting on Monday, January 11, 2020.
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