In the oil and gas industry, Dr. Luqman Kayode’s name evokes a mixture of admiration, envy and respect.
He runs CAMAC Holdings, comprising CAMAC International Corporation, CAMAC Energy Inc and Allied Energy Corporation, in the United States of America.
However, Society Watch gathered that Lawal, who is also the chairman, Board of Directors, Unity National Bank, the only federally insured and licenced African-American-owned bank in Texas, is currently enmeshed in a legal tussle. His company is on the verge of losing its only cash-generating asset, a Nigerian oilfield.
It was gathered that the New York and Johannesburg-listed Erin Energy had filed for bankruptcy in May, as it seeks to restructure its debts and regain financial viability, a development that has put Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Nigeria Limited in some kind of mess.
It was revealed that the company collapsed following its battle with Agip, the Nigerian unit of Italian major ENI recognised as the operator of offshore OML 120 and 121 in February by a High Court of Lagos that upheld an arbitral ruling issued in London in early 2017 to transfer the management of OML 120 and 121 to Agip.
The fields had been held by Erin Energy, a US-based subsidiary of CAMAC headed by Kase Lawal .
The conflict dates back to 2012 when Agip sold its interests in the two blocks to CAMAC.
Before then, the OML 120 and 121, which included the productive Oyo oil field owned by the billionaire, was not as productive as envisaged.
This got some of the Erin shareholders angry and sued the billionaire over the deal that went awry.
The shareholders claimed the CEO of Erin Energy was overpaid by almost $200 million in Oyo Field deal that also benefited Allied Energy, another company controlled by Lawal.
The deep-pocket businessman was born in Oyo state. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Texas Southern University in 1976, and his MBA from Prairie View A&M University, Texas in 1978.
Lawal, who owns six oil blocs in Kenya, was a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Business Advisory Council and in 1994, he was a finalist for the United States Business Entrepreneur of the Year. Lawal is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He is a naturalized American and is regarded as the richest oil magnate ever in Houston, Texas.
Today, Lawal is said to be is losing sleep and growing grey hair over the business that many said might send him into irrelevance.