Ifeanyi Uba: AMCON Fighting Political War against Capital Oil

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Ifeanyi Ubah

• Says action renders 1463 Nigerians jobless
Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Senator Ifeanyi Uba yesterday alleged that the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) had continued to present itself as a tool for fighting economic and political wars against his company.

Uba, a senator elected on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), said that the actions of the regulatory body, had already rendered 1463 Nigerians jobless.

Uba yesterday made the allegation at a session with journalists in Abuja, lamenting that AMCON “is abusing powers vested on it in trust by the parliament to criminalise commercial disputes.”

At the session, the senator noted that AMCON was fighting economic and political war to intimidate and frustrate his company into liquidation, saying that he was being intimidated to abandon his political party and join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) .

The senator AMCON’s action amounted to overreaching, blackmailing and subduing him whilst exposing
the company (AMCON) to unwarranted media opprobrium.
He explained that his firm’s challenges started from the reclassification of obligor limits by CBN and the aborted deregulation policy of the federal government in 2011 that Capital Oil and Gas invested close to $150 million in acquiring vessels, dredging and others.

In 2012, Uba said the firm was shocked “to realise that AMCON secretly went to the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 and obtained freezing orders and orders to take possession of Capital Oil and Gas (COG)’s assets including its depot at Ibafo.
“We approached the same Federal High Court vide a motion on notice and sought orders to set aside the earlier ex parte orders obtained by AMCON. The court in a ruling set aside the orders obtained by AMCON and noted that the purpose for which AMCON was established was to assist companies to recover and not to drive them to insolvency.

“Thereafter, Capital Oil and AMCON held negotiations and executed a terms of settlement, a restructuring and facility agreement. These were entered as judgment of the court on June 21, 2013.

“The consent judgment stated that the restructured eligible bank assets will be repaid over a nine year period while AMCON was required to inject funds to boost liquidity thereby enabling Capital Oil meet its funding requirements without disposing of key assets.”

Uba noted that the assets of COG were far above its obligations to AMCON, saying the firm had an obligation to provide transferred assets which it believed had a value of 78.55 billion to AMCON by the consent judgment.

He said that AMCON and COG at all material times agreed that the aggregate market value of the assets given to AMCON was up to N78.55 billion.

“However, AMCON had an obligation under the consent judgment to appoint an independent valuer who was to within 90 days from the date of the consent judgment, value the said assets and determine that their forced sale value was up to N78.55 billion. AMCON never did.”

He said it was after Capital Oil had fulfilled its obligation under the consent judgment to provide assets worth N78.55 billion to AMCON, saying AMCON approached Capital Oil with a request for additional assets alleging a shortfall of N15 billion without disclosing its independent valuation report.

He said: “In a bid to arm-twist Capital Oil, former Managing Director of AMCON, Mr. Mustapha Chike Obi wrote a petition to the then Inspector General of Police (IGP) aimed at coercing the firm and its managing director to accede to his earlier request.

“In the petition to the then IGP, AMCON stated that a shortfall of N15bn existed in assets provided by Capital Oil. In other words, AMCON’s position was that the properties listed in the schedule to the consent judgment had a forced sale value of N63 billion.

“Despite our objection to AMCON’s request for additional assets valued at 15 Billion naira, we, in good faith, went ahead to provide more assets to AMCON in excess of the N15 billion.

“The issue of valuation and compliance with its obligation to provide assets with a forced sale value of N78.55 billion was thereby resolved and laid to rest. This fact is confirmed by the implementation roadmap issued by AMCON and its lawyers Olaniwun Ajayi.”

With this development, Uba said AMCON illegally and forcefully installed one of its expatriate consultants as the Managing Director of Capital Oil in disregard for the provisions of the consent judgment and in flagrant contravention of Nigeria’s company and immigration laws.

He lamented that AMCON ran the company singlehandedly through its consultant for two years as a sole administrator in breach of the consent judgment and settlement agreement.

According to him, AMCON failed to inject funds required into COG.

The senator said that following the reprehensible manner in which AMCON was running COG, COG’s Directors were constrained to commence proceeding against AMCON at the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/891/2014.