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Skye Bank seals off Obat Oil’s depot over N2.1bn non-performing loan

More reasons why have emerged on why serial fuel scarcity may hit the nation early next year.

This is because where more depot operators are abandoning the business for retail division; some depots are being sealed off on grounds of Court order.

We had on Thursday reported that more depot operators who were caught in the crossfire of non-performing loans crisis are now divesting into retail outlets where business and return on investments are fast.

But the problem of Obat Oil was its inability to act fast before the loan built up to N2.1bn, thus forcing Skye Bank to approach a Lagos High Court to get a judgment on October 28, allowing it to take over the depot, pending when the loan will be paid in full.

Justice Jude Dagat, in an October 28 ruling, ordered the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Sheriff of the court to assist Skye Bank in taking over Obat Oil and Petroleum Limited’s depot.

Accordingly, Skye Bank on Friday proceeded to seal off Obat Oil and Petroleum’s depot at H.I.M. Oba (Dr.) F.E.O. Akinruntan Close, Beachland Estate, Apapa, Lagos.

Trouble started for Obat Oil when the bank had, in an originating summons, told Justice Dagat that it had on August 7, 2015 obtained an arbitral award of N1.4bn with 10 per cent annual interest from April 11, 2014, and urged the judge to grant it a leave to enforce same.

The bank explained that in a bid to recover an unliquidated loan of  N2,142,462,572.26 which it granted Obat Oil and was guaranteed by Oba Frederick  Akinruntan, the parties had proceeded to arbitration, which was presided over by Afe Babalola (SAN).

The bank claimed that during the arbitration proceedings, Obat Oil and Akinruntan appealed for concession and waivers on the amount of accrued interest, fees and commissions on the unliquidated debt.

According to the bank, at the end of the arbitration proceedings, the arbitrator decided that “it would be fair and equitable to award N1,406,944,352.76 to the claimant, which represents the amount the respondents admitted as being the outstanding balance as of March 31.”

The arbitrator, Babalola, also awarded 10 per cent interest annually on the N1.4bn from  April 11, 2014, up until the final liquidation of the amount.

The bank, however, told Justice Dagat that Obat Oil and Akinruntan failed to honour the arbitration award and therefore urged the judge to give an order to enforce the award.

In a ruling on October 28, Justice Dagat made an order granting Skye Bank the leave to enforce the arbitration award against the respondents.

Efforts to get the response of Obat Oil officials’ weekend failed.