The London Court of International Arbitration has awarded a total of $680m (about N216bn) against two firms – Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited, which owns 55.96 per cent of Oando Plc; and Whitmore Asset Management Limited – belonging to Nigerian businessman, Wale Tinubu, and his partner, Omamofe Boyo.
The award was in favour of Ansbury Investments Inc, owned by an Italian-Nigerian businessman, Gabriele Volpi.
The PUNCH obtained on Sunday a copy of the LCIA verdict delivered on July 6, 2018.
In the document jointly signed by the presiding arbitrator, David Mildon (Queen’s Counsel), and co-arbitrators, Prof Marco Frigessi di Rattalma and Harry Matovu (QC), the court decided that, “The OODP (Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited) BVI is presently indebted to Ansbury in the total principal sum of $600m, being $130m in respect of the initial loans and $470m in respect of the subsequent loans, which sums are overdue and owing.
“Whitmore is presently indebted to Ansbury in the total principal sum of $80m in respect of the loan made under the First Loan Agreement (as amended).”
International counsel for Ansbury Investment, Mr Andrea Moja, said in a statement on Sunday that the award had been communicated to Tinubu and Boyo’s firms.
“The award was communicated to the parties on July 9, 2018,” Moja stated.
According to the statement, Ansbury had in 2012 invested about $700m in Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited by acquiring a 61.9 per cent stake in the firm, while a company owned by Tinubu, Withmore Limited, held 38.10 per cent of the stake in OODP BVI.
The statement added, “Tinubu had approached Mr Volpi to invest in the British Virgin Islands-registered firm when Oando Plc was seeking to acquire ConocoPhillips’ upstream oil and gas assets in Nigeria for $1.5bn.
“OODP BVI, in turn, owns 99.99 per cent of the shares of Ocean and Oil Development Partners Nigeria Limited, which holds 55.96 per cent of the shares in Oando.
“When the disagreement broke in 2017, Ansbury also petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission in May accusing the management of Oando Plc of mismanagement, cooked books and huge indebtedness.”