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AMCON Debt: Court orders takeover of SEPLAT Petroleum chairman’s assets

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) application to take over the assets of the Chairman of SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company, Ambrosie Orjiako.

The court also ordered the take over of the assets of two of Mr Orjiako’s affiliate companies, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited and Allenne Limited.

SEPLAT Petroleum is a Nigerian independent oil and gas company operating a portfolio of oil and gas assets in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The court order, issued on August 15, was accompanied with the letters to the Managing Directors of 29 commercial and merchant banks in the country where Mr Orjiako and his allies have accounts.

Details of the application

The order followed an application by Mojisola Owoseni of Lexavier Partners, legal practitioners, legal counsel to AMCON in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/945/19 against ABC Orjiako, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, with RC No 499348, and Allenne Limited.

In the application, AMCON asked the court to grant Francis Chuka, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, right to exercise its function as Receiver/Manager of Mr Orjiako’s assets in Nigeria and abroad, including Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited.

Mr Chuka was appointed by AMCON as Receiver/Manager on July 30, 2019, with the mandate to “take possession of and preserve all its assets and undertakings” by Mr Orjiako.

The assets and undertakings included his personal properties at Nos. 10C and 25A Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos; an oil vessel, MT Trinity Spirit, used as a floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) facility in Ukpokiti Oil Field belonging to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited.

Also affected are all movable and immovable assets of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited in and outside Nigeria, including the oil production facilities and other assets belonging to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited and located in and around Ukpokiti Oil Field.

Court order

In granting AMCON’s application, the FCT Federal High Court presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the Receiver/Manager judicial protection to take over and manage Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited till the full determination of the case.

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The court also permitted the Receive/Manager to take over all shares belonging to Mr Orjiako and his affiliate companies, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, and Allenne Limited, which they own directly or through proxies.

Their equity holdings are in registered corporate entities like Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Platform Petroleum (Joint Ventures) Limited, Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited, Helko Nigeria Limited, Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited BVI, Plumage Management Limited, Sinclair Commercials Limited BVI and Allenne Limited BVI.

The order also authorized the Receiver/Manager to take over Mr Ojiako’s property in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, and Maryland in the United States as well as London, United Kingdom.

By the order, counsel to AMCON said the Receiver/Manager was also ordered to take steps to take over the assets of Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited for the purpose of liquidating its outstanding indebtedness to AMCON.

Mr Orjiako and other directors of the Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited was ordered to desist from harassing the Receiver/Manager from doing his job.

In the letter to the 29 banks that Mr Orjiako and his affiliates had accounts, the managers were all directed to prevent all further withdrawals of funds and other debit transactions from the accounts.

The court also granted a request for an order restraining Mr Orjiako and his allies from interfering with or removing from the court’s jurisdiction in respect of the oil firm’s funds in the banks and financial institutions in and outside the country without the consent of the AMCON.

The legal firm urged the banks to furnish the Receiver/Manager within seven days the comprehensive statement of each account showing the outstanding balances of the defendants.

It is not clear as at press time if the banks complied with the court’s order to make available those details. Some of the banks contacted on Friday promised to cross-check the information and revert. None did.

The firm threatened to initiate contempt proceeding against any bank and its officials that flout the court order.

The banks AMCON wrote to included Access Bank, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited, Ecobank Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Mainstream Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited Providus Bank Limited, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Suntrust Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa, all in Lagos.

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Other banks include Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Zenith International Bank, Titan Trust Bank, Globus Bank Limited, Coronation Merchant Bank FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Limited, and Nova Merchant Bank Limited in the Lagos as well as the African Export-Import Bank in Abuja.

The Debt

Mr Orjiako has been having a running battle over a multi-billion debt AMCON has been battling to recover.

Although AMCON was not forthcoming with the exact figure of the debt, pressures for a recovery compelled Mr Orjiako early this month to offload about 3.5 million units of the equity he controlled in SEPLAT Petroleum to enable him to defray part of the obligation.

After the sale, Mr Orjiako now holds a direct interest in 16,151,325 ordinary shares and indirect interest in 26,300,000 ordinary shares of the company totalling 42,451,325 shares which equates to a voting interest of 7.21 per cent.

The transaction took place in London and a notice of the transaction was sent to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

In the notice, the Chief Financial Officer of SEPLAT, Roger Brown, said the shares sold at an average price of 114.5 pence per share.

Mr Brown said the shares were “registered in the name of Vitol Energy Limited held for the benefit of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited, which is an entity controlled by Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako and members of his family”.

SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company is a Nigerian independent oil and gas company which operates a portfolio of assets in the Niger Delta region. It is a leading supplier of processed gas to the domestic market.SEPLAT was formed in June 2009 through the partnership of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Platform Petroleum Joint Ventures Limited.

Culled: First Weekly

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FBNQuest Trustees Marks 40th Anniversary Of Preserving Legacy

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Trustees Limited, an FBN Holdings company has announced the celebration of its 40th anniversary as a leading provider of world-class trust and estate planning services in Nigeria. The event themed “A Legacy that Preserves Legacies” was held on Friday, 13 September 2019 at Landmark Event Centre in Lagos

The event presented an opportunity for FBNQuest Trustees to share key insights on the importance of Corporate Trust Management, Estate Planning, and Wealth Transfer, which are crucial elements to ensuring the preservation of legacies. Dr. Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom Capital LLP and former Minister for Communication Technology, delivered the keynote address at the event.

FBNQuest Trustees was incorporated as Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited on August 8, 1979. The company at the time was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which was known as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited. The name Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited was changed to First Trustees Nigeria Limited in March 1980; and in April 2014 it was renamed FBN Trustees Limited to align with the FBNHoldings group naming convention. In November, 2017 it was again re-named FBNQuest Trustees Limited to signal its membership of the FBNQuest family, and its commitment to partnering with its clients on their quest to define and achieve financial success.

FBNQuest Trustees is modelled as a representation of the forward thinking culture of the FBN Holdings Plc, to improve and develop specialised capabilities within the trusteeship, asset and fund management services of the Nigerian financial system. Today, the company specialises in providing Investment Advisory Services, Corporate, Public and Private Trust Management; and as a part of FBNQuest draws on the trailblazing spirit, and a consistent focus on excellence to deliver exceptional services to clients.

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Over the past 40 years, FBNQuest Trustees has not only become a leading trust company in Nigeria, but also a key pillar in the business of trusteeship. To highlight some of its key achievements over the years, the company continues to be the preferred local partner for international and multilateral entities looking to have businesses in Nigeria, and in 2013 served as the sole bond trustee on the very first bond issued by a multilateral institution in Nigeria (International Finance Corporation (IFC) $50,000,000 fixed rate senior unsecured bond).

FBNQuest Trustees is the first trust company to publish an educative compendium on estate planning to actively engage, and educate stakeholders, on the importance of Estate Planning in Nigeria, through its Legacy Series; and is a pioneer for Islamic finance in Nigeria, which led to its co-management of the first government issued Sukuk instrument launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017. The company also partnered and organised a stakeholder engagement on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and its implications for estate planning.

Speaking about the milestone celebration, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FBNQuest Trustees, Mr. Adekunle Awojobi, emphasised the firm’s impact on trusteeship business in Nigeria, and by extension, the economy. He said, “From when we began our journey in 1979, FBNQuest Trustees has delivered impeccable solutions for the safekeeping of our clients’ assets, the transfer of generational wealth, and the preservation of their legacies. We are extremely proud to be a part of the 125 year old legacy of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the rich heritage of FBNHoldings as we celebrate a 40 year track record of distinction, dependability and professionalism in the trustee business.”

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“We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the growth of the company over the years, as we continue to provide excellent services to our clients. We also take this opportunity to recommit to excellently serving our clients across diverse sectors to ensure that their legacies are preserved.” He added.

In terms of growth and financial performance, the company has continuously delivered shareholder value in alignment with the mandate of the Group. From a share capital of about N30 million in 90s, the company has increased to a share capital of N3billion in 2019; and has grown its profit after tax (PAT) year on year consistently, with liquid trust assets under management in excess of N40 billion as at June 30 2019.

About FBNQuest Trustees

FBNQuest Trustees is a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc. Our distinctive heritage as an organisation allows us to leverage specialisation of the subsidiaries of our parent company to enhance delivery and provide world-class client solutions.

We assess your needs and provide tailored solutions for the safekeeping of assets and transfer of wealth across generations. From estate planning services to government bond issuance, we hold a solid market position as a leading trust services provider

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Fidelity Bank Donates Laboratory To Correctional Home

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L-R: Reps of the Governor of Gombe State, Perm Sec Ministry of Health, HRH Hassan Ibrahim reads the text on the plaque during the official commissioning of the renovated Primary Healthcare Centre, Lubo in Gombe State as Head HRBP & Recruitment/CSR & Sustainability, Chris Nnakwe looks on

***LASG Commends Lender For CSR projects

Fidelity Bank Plc, top Nigerian lender has handed over a well-equipped, state-of-the-art Kitchen/Catering Laboratory for the use of students at the Girls Correctional Home, Idi-Araba, Lagos. The project, according to the bank, is a clear demonstration of its unwavering support towards enhancing the lives and wellbeing of less privileged members of the society.

 

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Lagos recently, the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okonkwo said that the decision to embark on the project is borne out of a deep-seated realisation that vocational education remains vital to the development of any society.

Laboratory

L-R: Head HRBP & Recruitment/CSR & Sustainability, Chris Nnakwe; Reps of the Governor of Gombe State, Perm Sec Ministry of Health, HRH Hassan Ibrahim; Branch Leader Gombe, Umar Bappi; Reps of the Speaker, Haruna Wambai; District Head of Lubo, Usman Mohammad during the official commissioning of the renovated Primary Healthcare Centre, Lubo in Gombe State

Okonkwo who was represented the bank’s Head of Legal Division, Kingsley Ohiri thanked the Ministry of Youth & Social Development for giving them the opportunity to partner with the State and hoped to do more in the future. He also mentioned the bank had, in the past, carried out some CSR projects in the State such as the Correctional Centre for Boys, Birrel Avenue, Yaba where vocational training tools were provided for the use of wards at the centre.

 

While commissioning the project, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Olusegun Dawodu said that the kitchen would provide the children the means to learn a new vocation which they would use to benefit themselves and the society at large.

 

Dawodu also reiterated the resolve of the State Government to prioritise the needs of the teeming youth saying, “The Lagos State Government would continue to support and empower the children and youth in the State with relevant skills in order to play active roles in the Nigerian economy, thereby creating wealth and reducing the rate of unemployment and criminal activities among the youths and children”.

 

He specifically thanked Fidelity Bank for supporting the Government and especially the youths in the State by initiating and extending their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to ensure that the society is impacted positively.

 

On her own part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Yewande Falugba, emphasised the need for well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to emulate Fidelity Bank by partnering with the State Government in ensuring the social well-being of the youths and children.

 

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We Partnered with Tony Elumelu Foundation to Create Economic Opportunities in Conflict Prone Regions – ICRC President Says

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At the just concluded Forum organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), key speakers Tony O. Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) proffered entrepreneurship as the most sustainable solution to accelerating Africa’s transformation. During a one-on-one conversation at the event, both speakers called for a new private-sector-led approach to humanitarian development in Africa.

While speaking at the Forum, Peter Maurer commended the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s private-sector-led approach as the gold standard of humanitarian development in Africa focused on impacting lives at scale and transforming the continent.

Mr. Maurer said: “On one side, it is important that we assist and protect people when they are disrupted by violence and war. But what brought me together with Tony is not the white shirt and the blue suit, it is his deep conviction that with longer and protracted conflict we need to bring people much earlier into independence.”

He added: “We need, more than ever, in the most fragile, violent parts of society to show the pathway to independence and to a dignified life and this goes with income-generating activities, productive activities, with small businesses. This is why we partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation”.

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On his part during the discussion themed “Private Sector Partnerships with Humanitarian Organisations: Putting People First”, Mr. Elumelu commended Mr. Maurer’s leadership and the decision to partner with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to eradicate extremism and violence.

He said: “Through the partnership between TEF and ICRC, a lot is happening that shows the catalytic impact of your vision. Ours was the first ever partnership that ICRC had explored using a different approach to humanitarian development, from the angle of empowering the private sector. Today, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered with AfDB on empowering 1000 beneficiaries, UNDP which started with 1000 entrepreneurs and has now been scaled up to empower 100,000 African entrepreneurs starting with the Sahel region. The most important thing is that we give economic hope and opportunity to our people and reduce the cases of fragility that we see across the continent.”

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In 2018, ICRC and the Tony Elumelu Foundation partnered to sponsor 200 entrepreneurs from the North East and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria to catalyse and accelerate transformation while scaling impact in conflict-prone areas. The intervention is built on the existing Tony Elumelu Foundation’s USD100million commitment to empower 10,000 young African entrepreneurs in 10 years across the continent. Driven by the economic philosophy of Africapitalism,  it represents a bottom-up approach with the goal of creating millions of jobs and increased revenue on the continent.

The ICRC Forum took place in Lagos yesterday and gathered key stakeholders in government and humanitarian development to explore alternative approaches to impacting lives on the continent.  Present at the event were Princess Aderemi Adebowale, representing the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Mr. Babtunde Paul Runwase, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Juan Luis Coderque Galligo, Head, New Financing Models, ICRC; and Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation; amongst others.

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