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ABC Orjiako’s $342.9m Seplat deal hangs as Zenith Bank tackles billionaire over unpaid debt



The faceoff between Zenith Bank and the Chairman of Seplat, Ambrose (A.B.C) Orjiako, has taken a different turn with the lender demanding the repayment of $78.4million debt.

Zenith Bank accused Orjiako of trying to avoid payment of the loan with accrued interest.

The loan was due for repayment on August 31.

The bank approached the Federal High Court, Lagos, and obtained an interim order on its ex parte Mareva application from Justice Yellin Bogoro.

The judge ordered Seplat and four other defendants against dealing with the assets of Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited and Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited owned by Orjiako.

He also restrained Seplat from transferring funds to any account belonging to Orjiako, Shebah Exploration, and Shebah Petroleum.

READ ALSO: Zenith Bank grows customer deposit to N5.77trn in H1

The ruling will prevent Seplat from paying Orjiako $342 million as consulting fee for services Shebah Petroleum rendered for Seplat.

The company had generated $900,000 and N342 million from Seplat as of last year and earned $1.05 million and N322 million from the same deal in 2019.

With the ruling, Orjiako and his two companies will not have access to accounts of Seplat Petroleum domiciled in 29 banks.

This means the billionaire has been locked out of the oil and gas firm where he holds a 6.43 percent controlling stake.

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