Honourable Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had granted an ex-parte order for the temporary forfeiture order of our assets
We woke up this morning 16/11/2012, to the surprising news that Honourable Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had granted an ex-parte order for the temporary forfeiture order of our assets, especially our Tank Farms and Jetties. In the light of the order, the Jetties and Depots of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited located at Apapa have been shut down with immediate effect. With effect from today Friday November 16, 2012 discharge and loading of petroleum products from the facility is temporarily suspended. This is to ensure that that the order of the court is not in any way violated. We empathize with the long-suffering masses of Nigeria who have been experiencing long queues in filling stations, non-availability of petroleum products as well as high cost of transportation.
We had cried out that the unsubstantiated findings by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee was strangulating our business by denying us access to payments from the Federal Government, credit, business partners, good-will etc as well as making us look like criminals and people without integrity. Before the court order, our operations had been greatly threatened. Now the open-secret plan to take over our business has materialized. This is no doubt a clear case of victimization. Nigerians will unfortunately be worse for it. If only they had put the nation's interest first!
That a company like ours, which accounts for about 35% of daily petroleum products distribution in Nigeria, can be the subject of such an application and court order is baffling. The Government has refused to pay us. It would appear that those who want to take over our business are succeeding with the aid of their friends in Government.
They came up with subsidy, we defended it and they could not refute our defense. They came up with Access Bank and Coscharis, we went to court and they refused to appear, rather, they went to a United Kingdom (UK) court. Now they are coming with AMCON. For the benefit of Nigerians, we have been discussing with AMCON with 2 Nigerian Financial Consultants and a British Firm, towards reconciling our position and exposures with AMCON. We have not been found wanting in terms of cooperation with AMCON even when government policies have adversely affected our business over the last 10 months.
We cannot be stopped from trading, our funds tied down, and at the same time, are found wanting for not meeting our obligations by the same Government Ministry.
We have painstakingly managed to pay our workers salaries till October 2012, even when we have not received any form of payment in the last 10 months. We cannot continue and we pray that the masses that we cared so much for and are always ready to serve will bear with us. We wish to emphasize that we stopped operations by 4:37am this morning 16/11/2012 with a total load-out of 224 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) - equivalent of 8,151,270 litres of PMS – belonging to NNPC. This will remain our last operation till further notice. We therefore have to down tools as we cannot continue to operate under this obnoxious business climate. We hope this will not aggravate the already worsening fuel supply and distribution being experienced in the country.
We thank all those who stood by us in these trying times. May we live to see the day that personal interest will not over-ride national interest? We will keep you posted as events unfold. In the interim our teams of lawyers are studying the situation with a view to taking appropriate steps to address this situation.
We want to state that Nigerians know who is fighting us and we will address Nigerians soonest, for it is written, “One with God is Majority”