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AMCON still bars Capital Oil operations despite court order

By The Citizen
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Despite the court order that Asst Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) should vacate the premises of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, policemen on the orders of AMCON prevented members of staff entry into the premises on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.

An Abuja High Court had directed AMCON  to vacate the premises of the oil company and allow it to resume business  after being shutdown over alleged N48.014 billion the company is said to be owing AMCON

Capital Oil's  spokesman, Nick Hayes said that Policemen deployed at the instance of AMCON to take over the premises of Capital Oil and Gas, have refused to allow staff of the company access into the premises.

Hayes said that even though the court order was obviously pasted at the gates of the massive premises, the policemen there claimed that they had not been briefed by AMCON.

They simply told inquisitive staff who were eager to go into the depot and resume work that 'somebody sent us here and that person is the one that can ask us to leave this place.'

Hayes said that this latest action of AMCON, was a clear indication that the masked people bent on taking over Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited were still at work, doing everything they can, to perfect their plans -court order, or no court order.

He noted, 'it is paradoxical that the same AMCON who did not waste time in taking over the premises and properties of Capital Oil and Gas when it got an order to do so, was now foot-dragging as the same court has vacated the initial order.'

On the statement credited to the Managing Director of AMCON, Mr. Chike Obi, that it had appealed the order given by Justice Abdu Kafarati as probably the reason for their disobedience of the court order.

Hayes argued that AMCON should first obey the subsisting order, vacate the premises as well as hands-off the properties of the company and then, pursue the matter in court.

He insists that anything to the contrary, remains a clear case of irresponsibility on the side of AMCON'S management as well as an indication that AMCON is running a hidden agenda for some highly placed people.

He recalled the comments made by Justice Kafarati in his ruling, 'AMCON should allow the business to go on while the company negotiates how to pay the debt. To stop the company from operating, might have adverse effect on the economy of the country', and noted that the statement is unambiguous to warrant further interpretations.

Justice Abdul Kafarati of Federal High Court, Abuja had ordered the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to re-open the facilities of Capital Oil and Gas Limited to allow it resume business activities.

In doing so, the court vacated its order of November 13, 2012 directing AMCON to take immediate possession of the properties and assets of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited and those of its Managing Director, Ifeanyi Uba over alleged N48.014 billion debts.

Delivering ruling on the matter, Justice Kafarati had said the court had powers under Section 6 (6) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution to set aside its orders especially when it concerned the interest of justice.