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Business

Court declines Seplat’s oral bid for property access, fixes ruling on Christmas Eve

The Federal High Court in Lagos has thrown-out appeal by Seplat to lift interim order restricting access to its property.

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Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has turned down an oral application by Seplat Petroleum Development Company to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.

This is a sequel to an adjournment on the court ruling obtained on Thursday, December 12, 2020, over the controversial $85.8 million debt. In lieu of this, Seplat Petroleum filed another application dated 12 December 2020, also seeking to discharge or lift the same interim order.

What happened

Seplat’s counsel, Mr. Abubakar Mamoud, SAN prayed the court to grant his client access to the offices and the accounts that were frozen pursuant to the order of the court. He averred that Seplat had posted a bond of $20 million as security. However, this appeal was vehemently rejected by Access Bank and thrown out by the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Reacting to the move by Seplat Petroleum, the Counsel to Access Bank, Mr. Kunle Ogunba, SAN described it as “Bizarre, unknown to our laws, unprofessional, speculative and utterly presumptions of the reserved ruling of the court.”

Mr. Ogunba urged the court not to pre-empt the outcome of its earlier ruling and not to accept the $20 million bond which in his view is inconsequential or trivial to the $85.8 million debt.

Nairametrics gathered that some of the assets affected by the order include; 25, Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos; 6, Agodogba Avenue, Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos; and 11, Oba Adeyinika Oyekan Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Record of the corporate battle between Access Bank and Seplat Petroleum

Access Bank, the plaintiff/respondent in the suit, had earlier secured an ex-parte Mareva Injunction dated November 13, 2020, to shut Seplat’s premises and freeze its accounts in Nigeria and abroad. This is due to an outstanding loan of about $85.8million incurred by Cardinal Drilling Services – a third party that provides drilling services to Seplat Petroleum.

  • The line of argument upheld by the Bank is that Seplat Petroleum is a party or obligor to the loan obtained under the defunct Diamond Bank. It also believed that Seplat’s Chairman, ABC Orjiakor, is a stakeholder in Cardinal Drilling Services.
  • In response to this, Seplat petroleum refuted the allegations, and its Chairman who is the first defendant filed an application dated December 3, 2020, seeking to discharge the orders. The other defendants did the same.
  • The court heard the applications last Thursday, December 10, 2020, in a proceeding that took more than five hours. It also heard Access Bank’s application for an Interlocutory injunction.
  • While awaiting the court’s ruling on the applications, Seplat filed another application dated 12 December 2020, also seeking to discharge or lift the same interim order.
  • On Monday, December 14, 2020, the court turned down the request to lift the interim order and fixed December 24, 2020, as the date for ruling on an earlier application filed by Seplat.

What you should know: Nairametrics had earlier reported that Seplat Petroleum corporate headquarters is most likely to remain under lock and keys until 2021, except it gets the court to vacate the order against it at the next sitting.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jane D

    December 15, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    It’s not 85 BILLION DOLLARS nah
    Always proof read before posting please

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Business

BUA commences legal action over allegations of involvement in $20 million bribe scandal

BUA has urged stakeholders and the public to disregard malicious, baseless allegations circulating in some news media concerning its OML 110.

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Kabiru Rabiu, BUA Group

The management of BUA Group has commenced legal actions against parties involved in spreading spurious allegations of corruption and involvement in a $20 million bribe scandal.

The leading conglomerate revealed that the corruption allegations which were published by some Nigerian news channels allegedly attributed to a purported statement by Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe and Cavendish Petroleum with respect to BUA’s OML 110 as false, defamatory, malicious and libellous.

According to the statement published by the management of BUA, the Group had been duly contacted by Cavendish Petroleum as well as the alleged writer of the statement, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe and both parties have told BUA on the record that neither Cavendish, the Mai Deribe Family nor any of its Executives put out such a malicious statement.

The Group noted that the statement was made with the clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu.

BUA fingers Kainos MD as instigator of false allegations, commences legal action

An inhouse investigation conducted by the Group revealed that the source of the fraudulent news is Mr James Onyejekwe, the MD of Kainos Exploration and Production.

In reaction to this, BUA has therefore instructed its legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the MD of Kainos, the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe, with damages.

The legal action will also extend to the online blog, blazenews.com.ng – which first published the unsubstantiated malicious news without a careful fact check in their duty of journalistic care, to confirm and clarify the source of such a weighty allegation.

The Group believes these actions are necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of the manufacturing conglomerate, noting that there is no reason why Mr. James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.

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Business

AfDB signs $400k grant with SEC to strengthen securities market regulation

The AfDB has signed a $400, 000 grant with Nigeria’s SEC to strengthen securities market regulation.

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unclaimed dividend, SEC restrains fintech company, Chaka from advertising or offering for sale shares

The African Development Bank, AfDB, has signed a $400, 000 grant with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission to strengthen securities market regulation.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Federal Government on Sunday, as it stated that the grant would also be used to broaden market instruments.

SEC boss, Lamido Yuguda said: “This collaboration further underscores our mutual goal to grow our markets and create viable avenues for sustainable economic development for Nigeria and the region.”

READ: AfDB to assist West African countries deliver on carbon emission reductions

What you should know 

Nairametrics recently reported that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Fund (ADF) – the concessional arm of the African Development Bank signed a loan agreement of 73.6 billion Japanese yen ($668.1 million) to support the 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-15).

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