By LOUIS IBA
Managing Director/CEO of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited, Mr. Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah has dragged Access Bank to the House of Representatives over a breach of the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) law governing the grant of loans it secured to facilitate the importation, storage and distribution of petroleum products in the country. Ubah, in a petition addressed to the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, held that both the management of the bank and the guarantor, Coscharis Motors tricked Capital Oil into the loan deal by failing to make full disclosures as pertaining to the collateral and other securities backing up the loan.
Ubah, therefore, accused Access Bank and Coscharis Motors of “deceit, misrepresentation, concealment and suppression of material facts as it relates to the transaction with Capital Oil and Gas Industry Limited.” He said he was shocked to discover that the loan which Coscharis Motors claimed to have secured for him from the bank was released only on the strength of Capital Oil collaterals, claiming that his supposed guarantor put nothing down to secure the loan. Ubah also alleged a threat to his life and that of his family as well, which he linked directly to the disparaging and tarnishing of his hard earned integrity and reputation in the eyes of members of the public.
In recent weeks, the Capital Oil boss has been in a rough battle with Access Bank and Coscharis Motors over the non-payment of the loan estimated at about N20billion, a trend that had forced a recent takeover of the firm by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in a bid to recover the debt, secure depositors funds and keep the bank afloat.
However, Ubah, in the petition to the House of Representatives, a copy of which was made available to Daily Sun said it was shocking for him to discover much later that for a loan totaling up to N20billion, he was the one tricked to shoulder the bulk of the risk as he was made to place on the table as securities some of his choice properties located at Banana Island in Lagos, while the borrower, Coscharis Motors was smiling home from the bank with profits from the deal. Said Ubah, “Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited were never informed of the unsecured loan facility between Access Bank Plc and Coscharis Motors Limited and was constrained/compelled to execute further additional securities to protect the loan facility and act as a guarantor to guarantee and reassure Access Bank Plc.”
In the petition, Ubah further alleged, as regarding that particular deal, “unethical and insider abuse by Access Bank Plc and Coscharis Motors contrary to sections 18 and 20 (2) of BOFIA 2004.” “Access Bank Plc is in violation of Sections 18 and 20 (2) of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 by advancing unsecured loan facility to a director of Access Bank Plc contrary to prudential guide of the bank which constitute an insider abuse and in breach of fiduciary duties of director of the bank,” said Ubah.
The Capital Oil boss listed some of such securities he had to put down to include: Plot 13, Zone P, Federal Government Layout at Banana Island, Lagos; Plot 13, Zone J, Federal Government Layout at Banana Island, Lagos; Plot J14, Zone J, Federal Government Layout at Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plot 14, Zone P, Federal Government Layout at Banana Island, Lagos; Legal mortgage over the vessel named ‘DERA 1’; legal mortgage over the vessel named ‘DERA 2’; legal mortgage over the vessel named “MARVEL1’; legal mortgage over the vessel named ‘Runner Delta’; According to Ubah, both Access Bank and Coscharis Motors, had from the outset entered into the deal with him with bad faith by withholding from him some critical materials needed to evaluate the risk portfolio of the businesses.
He therefore wants a speedy intervention by the House of Representatives to ensure Capital Oil is paid over N20billion owed by the Federal Ministry of Finance as debt for importing, storing and distributing petroleum products for the Federal Government under the fuel subsidy scheme. Ubah said he controls over 35 per cent of the fuel supply capacity in the country, noting that the continuous withholding of this huge amount of money had dire consequences on the economy of over 3,000 Nigerians employees on his payroll.
Ubah also alleged that the Coscharis CEO, Dr. Cosmas Maduka had violated provisions of the banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 by taking advantage as Chairman of Board, Credit Committee of Access Bank Plc to disclose privilege and confidential information of the Bank to a third party to gain undue advantage to secure and protect loan and credit facility from the bank. He also pointed at the conflict of interest in having Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede sit as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on fuel subsidy probe, noting that as a creditor, he had stakes in the industry which does not place him in a neutral position to make fair judgments.
Ubah, in the petition also faulted the submission of the Aig- Imoukhuede probe panel saying it erred in recommending the firm for further investigation by anti-graft agencies having not followed “due process and fair hearing” in the discharge of its assignment. To that effect, the oil firm is demanding that the House of Representatives use its legislative power to ensure the “setting aside of the presidential committee on fuel subsidy report due to conflict of interest., Aig-Imoukhuede being the CEO & Managing Director of the bank where our oil marketer sourced funds from and lack of transparency in his investigation and fair hearing occasioning gross miscarriage of justice to Capital Oil & Gas Industries Ltd and its MD/CEO Dr. Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah.”
“Aig-Imoukhuede cannot be a judge, jury and prosecutor at the same time,” Ubah said, noting that he was “managing director of Access Bank and traded in petroleum products with Capital Oil and at the same time being the chairman of the presidential committee on subsidy probe payments.” “By this petition, we are seeking the intervention of this Honourable House to mediate and redress the various injustices being meted out to Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited and its Chairman/promoter, Dr. Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah,” the petition stated. Capital Oil over the weekend had resumed operation following the nod given to it by AMCON which had earlier got a court injunction to freeze assets of the oil firm. and halt further tradings.
The decision to re-open the depots and other petroleum products allied facilities came after a deal had been struck between Ubah and AMCOM which allowed the debt recovery agency to step into the management of the firm and ensure that sales proceeds from the oil firm is properly remitted to offset debts owed banks.The shut down of the depots of the oil firm had far reaching implications on the fuel supply situation in the country as it accounts for more than 35 per cent of petrol and kerosene consumed in the country.