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Firm in fresh lawsuit as controversy rages over ALSCON

By Emmanuel Badejo
08 February 2016   |   12:54 am
AS controversy continues to surround the rightful owners and management of the biggest manufacturing company of aluminium in Nigeria, otherwise known as Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), a firm, Dayson Holdings Limited, has approached a Federal High Court, seeking for protection of its investment in the company. Dayson Holdings Limited and ALSCON, being the…

Alscon

AS controversy continues to surround the rightful owners and management of the biggest manufacturing company of aluminium in Nigeria, otherwise known as Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), a firm, Dayson Holdings Limited, has approached a Federal High Court, seeking for protection of its investment in the company.

Dayson Holdings Limited and ALSCON, being the plaintiffs before a Federal High Court, Uyo Division, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, have sued BFI Group Corporation, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Inspector General of Police and Chief Registrar, Federal High Court.

To put those sued on notice, Dayson had approached the court, and sought for a substituted means of service.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who after listening to Dayson, had ordered that the parties be served through popular Nigeria media organisations and adjourned continuation of the matter till Thursday this week.

In its originating summons, the plaintiffs is asking the court to determine whether BFI Group Corporation, being the first defendant, has the legal and/or valid right to take over the management and control of ALSCON without compliance with the provisions of Section 79(2), 135 and 151 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act?

They also want the court to answer whether, in view of BFI Group Corporation’s failure to comply with the Supreme Court judgment of July 6, 2012 in Suit No. SC. 12/2008 – BFI Group Corporation against Bureau of Public Enterprises, Dayson Holdings title to 77.5 per cent shares of the Federal government of Nigeria in ALSCON remain valid and unaffected.

And if any of the questions placed before the court is affirmed in in favour of the first plaintiff, it wants the court declare that BFI Group is not entitled to take over the management and control of ALSCON without complying with Sections 79(2), 135 and 151 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

Dayson also seeks a declarative order to the effect that it’s title to the 77.5 per cent shares in ALSCON as well as its right to the possession, management and control of the ALSCON plant in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State remain valid and unaffected in view of BFI Group’s failure to comply with the clear terms of the judgment of the Supreme Court of 6th July 2012.

The first plaintiff therefore asks for two orders including a perpetual injunction restraining BFI Group Corporation and other defendants as well as their agents, servants, privies, assigns or any persons claiming through or deriving authority from them otherwise howsoever disturbing Dayson’s possessory right and taking over the ALSCON’s plant.

But in favour of BFIGroup, the Supreme Court had recently ruled that, the Nigerian-American consortium, which emerged the preferred bidder for the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, in 2004, but was disqualified in controversial circumstances by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), was the valid winner of the bid.

BFIGroup, which was pre-qualified as one of the two core investors interested in acquiring the 77.5 per cent Federal Government equity in the $3.2billion plant, was declared winner of the bid for the plant by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) after its $410million offer proved superior to the $160million by its, UC Rusal.

Prior to the June 14, 2004 scheduled financial bid opening exercise, BFIGroup was prequalified to stand for the bid having completed due diligence on the plant as well as other necessary processes stipulated by the NCP, including conditions spelt out in a resolution during the May 20, 2004 Technical Bid Conference by all participants in the bid process.

Some of the conditions included the payment of $1million cash bid bond, submission of a list of preferred banks in Nigeria and overseas where the bond could be procured, and a court of notarization of the bid bond.

Other conditions included written guarantee of the commitment by all bidders to abide by the stipulated guidelines covering presentation of the Year 2003 audited financial accounts of ALSCON by May 24, 2004; plan to dredge the Imo River Channel, the gas purchase/supply agreement, the export processing factory status, and the bid price payment schedule.