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Capital Oil and Gas Ind Ltd. reacts to AMCON’s Publication, says AMCON is in contempt of court commits libel and defamation of character during the subsistence of valid court judgment against AMCON.

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Capital Oil and Gas has reacted to AMCON’s publication where the corporation named Capital Oil and Gas as one of its delinquent debtors.

In a press statement made available to several media outfits, Capital Oil and Gas expressed surprise at the fact that despite various court orders and judgments obtained by Capital Oil and Gas against AMCON and the discussions that have been going on, AMCON will again publish Capital Oil and Gas’ name as well as that of its Managing Director as one of its delinquent debtors, an action which is deemed contemptuous and libellous.

The press statement reads:

Our attention has been to an advertisement placed by AMCON in several Nigerian newspapers on the 22nd of October 2018 titled LIST OF DELINQUENT DEBTORS.

We are surprised that, despite various court orders and judgments obtained by CAPITAL OIL AND GAS IND.  LTD. and its Managing Director, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah against AMCON and the discussions that have been ongoing, AMCON will again publish the name of our company and our Managing Director on any list of its debtors for the following reasons:

1. The relationship between AMCON and Capital Oil and Gas is regulated by a consent judgment entered by the Federal High Court in 2013 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012.

2. In compliance with the consent judgment, Capital Oil and Gas provided AMCON with assets valued at over N78 Billion.

3. In consideration of the aforesaid, AMCON was required by the Consent judgment to infuse funds into Capital Oil and Gas in the sum of about 150 Billion Naira in 2013 after which Capital Oil and Gas will repay the restructured facility over a period of 9 years.

4. However, AMCON has failed to comply with the Consent Judgment in breach of the principle of the rule of law.
 
5. Instead of injecting the required trading funds into Capital Oil and Gas, AMCON took several steps to run the company aground leading to multiple lawsuits between Capital Oil and Gas and AMCON. 

6. AMCON deliberate deleterious acts did not abate; rather it commenced winding up proceedings against Capital Oil and Gas in suit no.SUIT NO: FHC/L/CP/506/2016 upon the imaginary and false claim that the company was indebted to AMCON.

7. The Court at first issued freezing orders on Capital Oil and Gas’ accounts, but when the facts were laid bare before it, the Federal High Court presided by Hon. Justice M.B Idris (now Justice of the Court of Appeal) in its judgment delivered on the 6th of May 2016 struck out the winding up proceedings and set aside the freezing orders against Capital Oil and Gas accounts.

8. AMCON appealed the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court before the Court of Appeal, Lagos division in APPEAL NO: CA/L/697/2016.  The Appeal is still pending before the Court of Appeal.

9. When it became apparent that AMCON would not, on its own, comply with the consent judgment, Capital Oil and Gas was constrained to approach the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/514/2015 to determine the question of whether Capital Oil and Gas is indebted to AMCON and whether AMCON was legally bound to inject trade finance into Capital Oil and Gas pursuant to the consent judgment in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012.

10. In a well-considered judgment delivered on the 3rd of October 2016, the Court presided by Hon. Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati (now Chief Judge) found as a fact that Capital Oil and Gas was not indebted to AMCON, rather AMCON in its usual deceit deliberately deprived Capital Oil of trade finance facility meant to revamp Capital Oil and Gas lucrative petroleum business as contained in the consent judgment. The Honourable Court then proceeded to order AMCON to pay Capital Oil and Gas N26 billion trading funds and restrained AMCON from taking steps with regards to Capital Oil and Gas and Dr. Ubah respective assets.  AMCON till date is yet to comply with the judgment.That judgment is still subsisting and has not been set aside.

11. As matters presently stand, AMCON is indebted to Capital Oil and Gas at the minimum, the sum of 26 Billion Naira; this is definitely without taking into consideration the sums (about 44 Billion Naira of under-recoveries due from the Central Bank of Nigeria/Debt Management Office to Capital Oil and Gas) that AMCON illegally seized, damage done by AMCON to Capital Oil and Gas’ infrastructure and business reputation during AMCON’s illegal takeover of the administration of Capital Oil and Gas in 2013, the interest, inflationary and valuation differentials on the trade finance AMCON was required by the consent judgment to provide Capital Oil since 2013.

12. Recently, discussions have ensued between AMCON and Capital Oil and Gas to resolve the impasse and it is in the midst of this that AMCON has now published the libelous list in which it falsely alleged that Capital Oil and Gas is a delinquent debtor.

13. It is disheartening that AMCON who submitted to the authority of the Court of Appeal in seeking to appeal the subsisting judgment, has now made a volte-face by taking laws into its hands, defying the hallowed doctrine of rule of law, proceeding to make false, misleading and contemptuous publication and therein threatening to forcefully take over assets of Capital Oil and Gas and Dr. Ubah, an exercise deliberately aimed at overreaching the pending appeal and undermining the judiciary. 

14.  The said publication is contemptuous of the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/514/2015 and a flagrant disregard to the nobility and majesty of the Court of Appeal, Lagos division, which is fully seized with APPEAL NO: CA/L/697/2016. 

15. This is again additional proof, if any was needed, of the vulnerability of Nigerian institutions (which ordinarily should be above the political fray) to political manipulation and desperation.

16. We condemn the said publication as containing no scintilla of truth. The publication belies of good faith and clearly targeted at this election peak to douse the rising, intimidating and promising electoral profile of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah who is known to be desirous of serving his community and country politically, even as he has done commercially, providing employment in his enterprises for over 1,000 Nigerians.

We have therefore passed the contemptuous, false and libelous publication on to our Solicitors and AMCON will soon hear from them.

In the meantime, we urge Nigerians to ignore this falsehood.

Signed:
Management

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