A suit filed by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) seeking to freeze the assets of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited was struck out by a Federal High Court in Lagos last Friday. Delivering the judgment, Justice Mohammed Idris threw out the suit on the grounds that it was premature and sought to circumvent existing suits in various courts on issues relating to the purported indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas, which is the same as the suit filed. The ruling, delivered Friday 6th May 2016 in Suit No. FHC/L/CP/506/2016, Justice Idris upheld the contention of counsel to Capital Oil and Gas, Ajibola Oluyede who was represented by Michael Damiari, that the winding up proceedings filed by AMCON against Capital Oil and Gas were intended to circumvent the existing actions in suits FHC/ABJ/CS/430/15; FHC/ABJ/CS/514/15 and FHC/L/CS/1529/15 wherein live issues pertaining to the consent judgment in FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 which is the subject matter of the winding up petition are pending in. Justice Idris stated that: “Until the issues raised in those suits are determined, it would be premature to say the judgment debt has crystalized as provided in clause 2.4 of the consent judgment.” Capital Oil and Gas had, in its Respondent’s counter affidavit of 91 paragraphs deposed to by Nsikan Usoro in opposition to AMCON’s petition, contended that AMCON violated the terms of the consent judgment entered into between the two parties, stressing that AMCON failed, refused and/or neglected to inject the requisite funds into Capital Oil and Gas as agreed and contained in the terms of the consent judgment despite Capital Oil and Gas fulfilling all its obligations of transferring assets valued at over N150 billion to AMCON. It further argued that Capital Oil and Gas which was responsible for a great percentage of petroleum products distributed nationwide was solvent and not indebted to AMCON, neither was it unable to pay its debt as the company had assets worth over N300 billion, far in excess of any alleged debt to AMCON or any other creditor. But rather argued that AMCON was indebted to Capital Oil and Gas to the tune of over N150 billion, arising from damages and economic losses caused by AMCON through the gross mismanagement of Capital Oil and Gas’ prime facilities and business interests during the two years of AMCON’s mismanagement of Capital Oil and Gas, which is the subject matter of suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/430/2015 and in other various pending claims.
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