Seplat co-founder, Bryant (ABC) Orjiakor, has been caught between Diamond Bank's bad debt and the shutdown of Seplat headquarters by Access Bank. Three days ago, AllNews reported that the Headquarters was locked after Access Bank secured an Ex Parte order to takeover the building in Lagos - new findings by AllNews has emerged.
Access Bank has reportedly been struggling with bad loans Diamond Bank recorded prior to merging with the Herbert Wigwe-led bank. One of the bad loans, according to Nairametrics, include about $85.8 million which was obtained by Cardinal Drilling with assets as collateral.
The loan was used to procure CDS Rigs 101, 201, 202, and 203, which were used to provide drilling services to Seplat. The loan was secured in 2012, but eight years after, the credit has become an impairment on Access Bank, and Access Bank is clamping down on Cardinal Drillings, its Managing Director, Kalu Nwosu, Seplat and Orjiakor to recover the loan.
AllNews gathered that one of the major investors of Cardinal Drillings is Orjiakor. His link between Cardinal Drilling and Seplat has attracted the clampdown of Access Bank on Seplat. Although, Seplat never stood as surety or guarantor for the loan Cardinal Drilling obtained from Diamond Bank.
It is believed that Access Bank is coming after Seplat, to force the company to compel Orjiakor to ensure repayment of the loan or not frustrate the lender's effort in seizing properties belonging to Cardinal Drilling. Access Bank has its eyes on the following;
This put Orjiakor in the middle of the storm between Access Bank, Seplat and Cardinal Drilling. Access Bank indicated that Orjiakor is the reason it clampdown or sealed Seplat Headquarters. Although, Seplat said it will go to court to receive order against Access bank, as it doesn't have any ties with Cardinal Drilling, and the lender didn't give prior notice to the oil & gas company about its intended action.
In a report by AllNews on Friday, December 4, Seplat stated that it doesn't own a stake in Cardinal Drilling, even though Seplat's co-founder is an investor in Cardinal Drilling. Findings by AllNews also discovered more ties between Seplat and Cardinal Drilling, proving link doesn't revolve around Orjiakor alone.
A call to Cardinal Drilling indicate a close tie between the company and Seplat, as the voice prompt introduced Cardinal Drilling's contact as that of Seplat Petroluem Development Plc - for a company that doesn't own a stake in Cardinal Drilling, Seplat's name shouldn't be used by Cardinal Drilling's interactive voice response.
The same contact line on Cardinal Drilling is same on Seplat website - two different companies using the same phone number.
Meanwhile, AllNews noticed that Seplat is the only client Cardinal Drilling cited on its website. There's no other record of another clients Cardinal Drilling worked for - sources had told Nairametrics that Cardinal Drilling could have been a vehicle setup allegedly by Seplat to obtain the loan from Diamond Bank.
Note: As at the time of filling this report, calls to Cardinal Drilling were not responded to, while Email to Cardinal Drilling bounce back due to technical issues on the part of Cardinal Drilling address. Email sent to Seplat was not replied.