Revealed! The $16m Loan Fraud That Allegedly Killed Spring Bank


A Federal high court sitting in Lagos  has ordered a Nigerian firm, Nadabo Energy Limited and a London based company, Trafigura Beheer BV engaged in legal battle over a cargo of 950,000 crude oil, to maintain status quo.

The court also warned the two parties not to do anything that will overreach the court.
The presiding judge, Justice, Rilwan Aikawa, had earlier ordered Nadabo to serve the court processes on the British company, Trafigura Beheer BV out of jurisdiction including five Nigerian companies dragged before the court, alleged to have laundered N24 billion.

In a bid to recover the N24 billion alleged to have been laundered by Trafigura Beeher BV, Nadabo Energy Limited had dragged the said London based company before a Federal high court in Lagos.

Joined as co-defendants in the legal battle to secure court order to detain about 950,000 barrels of oil belonging to the company are five Nigerian companies namely, Mettle Energy &Gas Limited, Renbrant Limited, Jill Engineering and Oil Services Limited, Q&Q Control Services Nigeria limited, and General Marine & Oil Services Limited.

In his argument before the court, the plaintiff ‘s lawyer, Chief Emefo Etudo, leading two other senior counsels, Mrs Charity Etudo and Adeola Ojo, told the court that all the parties have been served, therefore there was the need for the court to order all the parties to maintain status quo and an order of the court ordering the foreign party to be served.

In an affidavit sworn to by the Executive Director of Nadabo Energy Company, Mr Reuben Etila, and filed before the court by Barrister Adeola Ojo, the deponent averred that, Nadabo Energy Company obtained the sum of $16 million loan from the defunct Spring Bank Plc to import petroleum products for onward supply to Mobil. However, Trafigura Beheer BV reportedly colluded with some officials of Spring Bank Plc to steal substantial part of the money and the supply cargo now valued at N24 billion, from Nadabo. The money was said to have been received by letters of credit and converted same to multiple businesses; shipping and crude oil lifting and 950, 000 barrels of crude oil it is attempting to load this month at Exxonmobil /Esso Terminal ERHA.

The crude oil allegedly belongs to the plaintiff.

Mr Etila also averred that this alleged fraud that reportedly killed Spring Bank Plc was just discovered this year and the President and commander in chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has just been petitioned for swift action, therefore it is necessary not to allow Trafigura Beheer BV  to take all her properties (crude oil ) out of the jurisdiction of the court so that any judgement given by the court will not be in vain.

Spring Bank Plc was alleged to have died as a result of the alleged fraud.
As a result of this fraud, Nadabo was reportedly blacklisted from securing further loan from any Nigerian bank until it pays the money back.

Recall that Heritage Bank acquired Enterprise Bank that acquired Spring Bank Plc. Heritage Bank Plc has dragged Nadabo to court over this issue.

Mr Etila alleged further that the stolen assets of the company had been converted into ships and crude oil by Trafigura Beheer BV and other colluding parties and the plaintiff in this legal action is claiming title to the said laundered assets as notice of discovery was also given to the respondents this year. The company which is a foreign company upon receipt of the said notice decided to quickly move

Mr Ifie Sekibo, MD, Heritage Bank PLC; acquired Enterprise Bank that acquired Spring Bank Plc.

her known assets; the 950,000 barrels of crude oil that is within the jurisdiction of this court out of the jurisdiction and vanished into Europe.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned the case till 24th of January, 2018 for further hearing.

-Is’mail Rahman