The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it will not yield possession of the assets of Capital Oil and Gas IndustriesLimited, temporarily forfeited to it by virtue of a Federal High Court order of November 13 this year.
AMCON said, in a statement yesterday, that it would remain in possession of the assets pending the determination of the appeal it filed against the court’s later ruling, reversing its November 13 decision.
Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja had, in the suit by AMCON, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 against Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited and Ifeanyi Patrick Uba, through an order ex-parte, granted AMCON possession of certain assets of the defendants pending the final determination of the substantive suit.
The assets covered by the court order include landed properties; some of which are facilities containing large quantities of petroleum products running into billions of naira.
However, on December 12, Justice Abdu-Kafarati discharged order of possession granted AMCON and ordered that the defendants be allowed to continue to run their business and pay their debt to AMCON as they can.
The judge also ordered that parties should resolve their dispute amicably in the interest of the economy. Justice Abdu-Kafarati refused AMCON’s application for the sale of the petroleum products in the defendants’ facilities, which have been leaking and posing serious security risks as well as public health hazard, but instead, adjourned hearing to January 18, 2013.
Dissatisfied, AMCON appealed the court’s decision of December 12 and filed an application praying for an order of stay of execution and injunction pending appeal.
It is also seeking an order mandating the Inspector General of Police (IG) to provide security to secure the assets of the defendants, and an order for the immediate sale of the petroleum products in the defendants’ tank farms.
AMCON prayed the court to order that proceeds from the sale be paid into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Court pending the final determination of the suit.
It hinged its decision to maintain possession over the assets on the grounds that the defendants were at the risk of not being able to recover the over N65billion debt owed by the defendants to four local banks.
AMCON contended that not only have the defendants admitted owing it and three local banks over N90 billion, it was aware of the order of the High Court of England granting a world-wide freezing injunction against the assets of the defendants to the value of a staggering sum of US133,518,230.36.
It accused Uba and Capital Oil of failing to honour past settlement agreements entered by parties.
AMCON said it also learnt that the defendants owe arrears of rent on the property where their main facilities at Apapa are located, with threat of imminent eviction.
It contended that should the defendants be evicted, it would become impossible for AMCON to recover the huge debts owed it by Uba and Capital Oil.
“In consideration of these facts and further to legal advice obtained in this regard, AMCON will remain in possession of the defendants’ assets for which the court had originally granted AMCON possession in view of the pending appeal and applications in court.
“AMCON is also doing everything within its statutory powers to ensure that the huge and wide spread indebtedness of the Defendants to AMCON and Nigerian banks do not precipitate a systemic risk to the financial system,” the corporation said.
“The legacy of our past heroes is something we must cherish as we strive together to live an even worthier legacies for future generation.”
Observing that the occasion was significant coming in the wake of the tragic helicopter crash, the president reiterated the nation’s sincere condolences and pledged for supports to the families of the victims.
“We remember today, the heroes that have fallen and also our serving military men and women. We remember today, the sacrifice that our armed forces have made and are still making so that our country can continue to live in peace and remain secured. To those who have served and those who are still serving, we thank you for the sacrifice that you have made, sacrifice that is borne out of patriotism, sacrifice that is strong message of inspiration to the rest of us,” he said.
Earlier, in a welcome remark, Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, said the nation deserved to honour those who had laid down their lives for the unity of the nation.
He said the fund realised would be used, among other things, to support the families and loved ones the departed heroes had left behind.
The Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, Senator David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, were decorated with the emblem.
Also decorated were former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; former President Shehu Shagari, Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako; PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and Obada.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim; the Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, ministers and other dignitaries were also decorated with the emblem.
Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who was also decorated with the emblem donated N30 million and announced a donation of N30 million on behalf of the Chairman of Max Airlines, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.