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Onovo clears air on Aquitane, Finbank saga

By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor

ABUJA—The Inspector-General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo yesterday in Abuja cleared the air on the Aquitane Oil and
Gas Company, a marketing company in the oil and gas sector and Fin Bank, one of the banks taken over by the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a result of poor corporate governance.

The Police boss who spoke against the backdrop of reports that he breached order on the oil firm in the on-going
face-off between Fin Bank and Acquitane Oil and Gas, stressed that the reports were sponsored and targeted at
blackmailing the Nigeria Police Force.

According to a statement by the Police spokesman, said “In retrospect, Chief A.A Aribisala, SAN, was appointed
Receiver/Manager of Aquitane Oil and Gas to recover money due to Fin Bank from Aquitane. He proceeded to the
Federal High Court in two separate suits and obtained ex-parte orders to take over the properties of Aquitane.

“In the two separate orders, the Inspector-General of Police was ordered to assist Chief A.A. Aribisala, SAN “to
take such steps as may be necessary to realize the assets of Aquitane Oil and Gas Ltd as well as to assist him in
securing the assets, properties and undertakings of Aquitane. In furtherance to these orders, some Policemen were
deployed at the Farm Tank of Aquitane Oil and Gas Ltd.

“However, on 21st October, 2009, a report was made to the IGP complaining that Chief A.A. Aribisala SAN did not
disclose to the Police the subsistence of a Suit No. LD/11/2009 in the High Court of Lagos State between Fin Bank
and Aquitane Oil and Gas Ltd. It then became imperative for the Police to be neutral in view of the existing suits
in both the Federal High Courts and High Court of Lagos State. Hence the Policemen were withdrawn, so as not to
give any undue advantage to either of the parties.

“It is important to state that Chief Aribisala SAN has initiated contempt proceedings against the IGP by issuing
forms 48 and 49.  The proceedings were first heard on 6th November 2009, and adjourned to 27th November, 2009.  As it stands, it is rudely shocking that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in person of Chief Ajibola Aribisala whose
matters are in Court could not wait for the out-come of his suits before resorting to cheaply popularizing himself
in the print media.  He ought to know that when a matter is sub judice it is wrong to resort to self-help as in
the instant case.


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