ALSCON: BFIG sues RUSAL for $2.8bn
The controversy surrounding the management of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, Ikot-Abasi, has assumed a different dimension as the United States company, BFI Group, has instituted a $2.8bn law suit against RUSAL, the Russian firm currently managing the company.
Investigations conducted by our correspondent on Thursday showed that the suit, which was initially filed in the US, had been transferred to Nigeria.
The development was confirmed by a top official of BFIG, who pleaded not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the matter.
He said the filing of the law suit, which would he heard at the Abuja High Court on March 25, 2013, followed alleged moves by the management of RUSAL to frustrate the takeover of the firm by BFIG as directed by the Supreme Court in its ruling of July 2012.
The source listed some of the alleged breaches for which RUSAL was being sued as interference in a contractual relation with the Federal Government; interference in a prospective business advantage on ALSCON; conspiracy to defraud BFIG; and unfair competition.
He said the Russian firm was served the court summons on January 29, 2013, adding that BFIG would ensure that the Supreme Court order was obeyed.
He said, 'We have sued the Russian firm, RUSAL, for $2.8bn for interference in a contractual relation with the Federal Government because we had a contract with the government and they (RUSAL) interfered and we sued them for conspiracy to defraud us
'The law suit was originally filed in the US but was transferred to Nigeria. They (RUSAL) were served on January 29 and the law suit is accusing them of the following: interference in a contractual relation with the Nigerian government: interference in a prospective business advantage on ALSCON; conspiracy to defraud BFIG; and unfair competition.'
The Bureau of Public Enterprises had on January 30, 2013 said it had transmitted an offer letter and the Share Purchase Agreement for ALSCON to the BFI Group.
The spokesman of BPE, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh, had said the offer followed the directive of the National Council on Privatisation, which met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on January 22, 2013.
The Supreme Court had in a judgment on July 6, 2012, ruled that BPE should return ALSCON to the BFIG.
The Technical Committee of NCP had disqualified RUSAL during the financial bid opening for ALSCON on June 14, 2004 because of its conditional bid.
The Russian company had been earlier disqualified by the BPE from the financial bid process after it submitted a conditional bid in contravention of the bidding guidelines. (Punch)