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London Tribunal asks Tinubu, Boyo to pay Volpi N208 billion.

Amid accusations by aggrieved shareholders of attempts to suppress the report of the ongoing forensic audit of its operation, Oando PLC Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu, and his deputy, Mofe Boyo, have been asked to pay Ansbury Investments Inc. about $680 million (about N207.9 billion @ N305.8/dollar).

Ansbury was incorporated in Panama as part of a family trust by an Italian-Nigerian businessman, Gabriele Volpi.

The three-member London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) presided by David Midon on July 6 gave the partial award against the two embattled top officials of Nigeria's indigenous oil company.

In the ruling, affirmed by two other co-arbitrators, Marco Frigessi di Rattalma and Harry Matovu, the tribunal upheld Mr Volpi's application that Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) was indebted to Ansbury by about $600 million (about N183.5 billion).

OODP Limited, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, controls 55.96 per cent equity in Oando PLC through a holding company, Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) Nigeria Ltd.

The company was established at a time Oando PLC was preparing to acquire ConocoPhillips' upstream oil and gas assets in Nigeria.

According to a copy of the tribunal ruling sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday by counsel to Ansbury Investment, Andrea Moja, the court also held that Whitmore Asset Management Limited was liable for another debt of $80 million (N24.5 billion).

Whitmore, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands as a single purpose investment vehicle, belongs to Messrs Tinubu and Boyo.

Court documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed initial agreement signed on June 17, 2013 gave 60 per cent equity in the venture to Ansbury and 40 per cent to Whitmore.

However, the source of dispute was whether there was a legally binding agreement for Ansbury to transfer 20 per cent share of its equity in the venture to Whitmore, such that OODP BVI equity would change to 60 per cent for Whitmore and 40 per cent for Ansbury.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Date:Jul 19, 2018
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