There's a faceoff between Access Bank and Seplat following the lockdown of the oil & gas company's Headquarters at Ikoyi, Lagos State. Seplat said it had no loan obligation to Access Bank, yet the financial institution sealed its Headquarters without prior notice as required by the Nigerian law.
AllNews gathered that Access Bank had sealed the Headquarters due to the debt owed by Cardinal Drilling, which is a third party company that provides drilling services to Seplat. Cardinal Drilling is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maurel & Prom and being managed by Kalu Nwosu.
While the amount owed by Cardinal Drilling wasn't disclosed, it was learnt from a statement obtained by AllNews that there is indeed an outstanding loan obligations on the part of the drilling company to Access Bank. The company reportedly defaulted on the debt, pushing Access Bank to initiate a court action against Cardinal Drilling.
Seplat stated that it doesn't own a stake in Cardinal Drilling, so it doesn't understand why Access Bank sealed its Headquarters. The oil & gas company said there is no outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank.
It was learnt that Seplat never made any commitments or guarantees on behalf of Cardinal Drilling, to take up the loan obligations to Access Bank, "We understand that Cardinal Drilling has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank. However, SEPLAT is neither a shareholder in Cardinal Drilling, nor has outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank and did not at any time make any commitments or guarantees in respect of Cardinal Drilling’s loan obligations to Access Bank."
Seplat described the sealing of its Headquarters as "improper action" with no merit or justification. In response to the sealing, Seplat said, "SEPLAT strongly believes that there is no merit or justification for this action against it and has taken prompt legal action to vacate the court order pursuant to which the building was sealed.
"This action was taken by Access Bank without any prior notice to SEPLAT, as required under Nigerian law.SEPLAT will vigorously defend against this improper action to the full extent of the lawand will seek all appropriate legal remedies."
Access Bank in recent times have taken action against individuals and company without court order. The bank had frozen the accounts of eight EndSARS protesters and a company, Gatefield, without a court order. The action by Access Bank led to public criticism.