Festus Fadeyi is well-known as an oil magnate.
He is also known for living a kingly life, driving expensive cars, globetrotting in private jets, sailing across the seas in an eye-popping luxury yacht.
Given his status, Fadeyi, who also has choice properties in some highbrow areas of Lagos and other cities across the world, commands a lot of respect among his friends and associates.
However, Fadeyi is reportedly battling a myriad of troubles now. His headache is not unconnected with his running battle with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, that took over his company’s assets and those of its subsidiaries over huge bank loans that led to the death of a Nigerian bank.
A report by some independent auditors revealed that Fadeyi, via his Pan Ocean Group, cumulatively secured over N240 billion (almost half of the total debt of defunct Skye Bank), thus making him the most heavily-indebted entity to the bank.
Fadeyi, through Pan Ocean, allegedly took the loans considered one of the biggest loan portfolios in the country to fund the firm’s oil and gas upstream projects operated under Joint Operating Agreements and Production Sharing Contracts with and on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Unfortunately, a case of conflict of interest was established against the oil magnate, as this large debt was incurred when he (Fadeyi) was represented on the board by his New York-based son, Dr. Jason Fadeyi, while Tunde Ayeni was chairman.
However, for some inexplicable reason, he was not able to repay this heavy debt to the bank, leading to the eventual takeover by AMCON, about two years ago.
As a result of this, after AMCON embarked on the recovery of the bad debts, Fadeyi is said to have lost ownership of his stately family mansion named Grand Villa on Modupe Alakija Crescent in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Seized by AMCON alongside that eye-popping Ikoyi mansion, which had served as the Fadeyi family’s home for several decades, are other choice properties including his FF Towers and Ark Towers both on Ligali Ayorinde Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos; two other properties on Modupe Alakija Crescent; two properties on Samuel Manuwa Street, Victoria Island; and another property on Adebayo Doherty Street, off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1.
It was further compounded by another battle over the ownership of his age-long oil company, Pan Ocean Corporation with the family of the late Italian oil magnate, Vittorio Fabbri, the founder of InterOcean Oil Development Company and Inter Ocean Oil Exploration Company.
Fabbri’s two companies reportedly claimed 40 percent stakes in Fadeyi’s Pan Ocean Oil Corporation’s Oil Mining License, OML 98, — while the NNPC owns the remaining 60 percent.
Since the death of the family’s patriarch, Fabbri, in 1998, his family has been battling Fadeyi over Inter Ocean entities as the beneficial owners of the 40 percent stake in the OML.
In September 2013, having failed to take control of the company, Fabbri’s companies initiated arbitration proceedings against NNPC and the federal government at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID.
At the moment, Fadeyi is allegedly running from pillar to post to wriggle himself out of the webs, while he is losing sleep and growing grey hairs over these woes that many said might send him into irrelevance.