A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to pay Capital Oil and Gas Limited N26billion in compliance with the terms entered between them which the court adopted as a consent judgment in 2013.
Justice Adamu Kafarati, in a judgment on Thursday, said AMCON was morally and legally obligated to perform its responsibilities under the consent judgment issued by the court in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 714/2012 between AMCON (as plaintiff) and Capital Oil (as 2nd defendant).
The judgment was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/514/2015 filed against AMCON by Capital Oil to enforce the consent judgment of 2013 which ended the dispute between them over the oil company’s indebtedness to some financial institution, which AMCON took over.
AMCON was required, under the consent judgment, to restructure Capital Oil’s debt and provide it N16billion as Trade Finance Facility to revamp its business and to pay its trade creditors.
It was also required to make N10. 590billion available to Capital Oil for the payment of sundry creditors who continue to threaten its business.
He said that having fulfilled its obligation under the consent judgment, it was morally and legally wrong for AMCON to choose to do otherwise.
Justice Kafarati noted that although the philosophy behind the establishment of AMCON was to save businesses in the country, its action in this case showed the contrary.
He rejected AMCON’s objection to the suit on the grounds that the suit, being one intended for the enforcement of a valid subsisting judgment, the court was with the jurisdiction, under Section 287 of the Constitution, to hear the case.
The judge, who resolved all issues for determination in favour of Capital Oil, granted al the reliefs sought. They include:
*An order of injunction restraining the defendant from exercising any powers over the plaintiff and its assets and from processing any assignment, transfer or other demise whatsoever or requesting for statutory consent or other approvals for the transfer or other demise of any rights in the assets of the plaintiff.
*An order compelling the defendant (AMCON) to comply with obligations to restructure the plaintiff’s debt and to provide Trade Finance Facility in the sum of 16 billion naira for revamping of the plaintiff’s business and to pay the plaintiff’s trade creditors.
*An order appointing an independent auditor to ascertain the losses incurred by the plaintiff due to the failure of the defendant to comply with its obligations under the consent judgment in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012.
*An order compelling the defendant to comply with the consent judgment and to make the additional sum of N10, 590, 000, 000 billion naira available to the plaintiff for the payment of sundry creditors who continue to threaten the plaintiff’s business.
Capital Oil’s lawyer, Raphael Oluyede, while reacting to the judgment, said the verdict “is a landmark decision” rooted in the vision of the founding fathers of AMCON, urging AMCON to adhere to the position of the court by living up to its statutory billing in providing the needed support for businesses to flourish with the ultimate goal of creating jobs for the citizenry.