N110bn debt: Skye Bank seeks to take over Omokore’s oil wells

The management of Skye Bank Plc is seeking to take over some oil wells belonging to Jide Omokore, a businessman involved in some corruption cases within and outside Nigeria saying Omokore is indebted to it to the tune of about N110bn at an exchange rate of $1/N315.

The loans were said to have been obtained through three companies namely: Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (N56 billion), Cedar Oil and Gas Ltd (N22.4 billion) and Real Bank Ltd (N31 billion).

The bank said the repayment of the first two obligations is tied to the controversial strategic alliance agreements (SAAs) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Atlantic Energy was awarded SAAs by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd, a subsidiary of NNPC, to develop and finance production from OMLs 26, 42, 30 and 34 – four oil blocks in all – in 2011.

NPDC valued its stake in the oil wells at $1.8 billion then.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen the assets of Omokore over suspicion of money laundering and procurement fraud.

In a letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the bank appealed to the federal government to grant it access to the assets that were funded with loans from the bank.

“We will require assistance for the extrication of the real estate assets that were fully funded with loans from the bank from the assets of Omokore presently under the forfeiture order from the court,” the letter read.

“This will enable us have access and rights over these assets and put the bank in a position to realise the assets that form the collateral for the loans granted to Real Bank limited.

“We will require some political intervention working with the NNPC to be able to bring this matter relating to Atlantic Energy to a quick resolution.

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“The assets belong to the NNPC and we will require the NNPC to approve the transfer of the rights under the SAA’s to another company that can take over the obligations and repay the bank facilities.

“Our proposal is to work with the NNPC to take over these assets (since NNPC is a joint venture partner with 60 percent stake) and thereafter re-auction them to affirm that has the financial capability and credibility to take over and turn around the fortunes of these assets.

“This arrangement will also require strong political support at the highest levels. The positive outcome of this arrangement will enable the bank to repay NNPC’s TSA funds totalling USD$262.7m, and also part of CBN’s financial accommodation to the bank.”

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