House of Reps begins probe of Otedola's N140.9billion AMCON debt settlement

The House of Representatives Thursday set up an eight-man ad hoc committee to investigate the N141 billion debt deal struck between oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The committee, which is headed by House Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, is expected to unravel the circumstances surrounding the final settlement of debts totalling N140,999,620,395.80 owed AMCON by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc, owned by Otedola.

Other members of the committee are Hon. Sani Kalgo, Hon. Uzo Azubuike, Hon. Ajibola Muraina, Hon. Pally Iriase, Hon. Evelyn Ojakovo, Hon. Jerry Manwe and Hon. Idris Wase.

In the deal ratified by the AMCON board, Otedola had transferred his assets as well as an undisclosed sum of cash to AMCON as full and final settlement for his liabilities.

The deal came on the heels of the release of a debtors' list by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in which it blacklisted Otedola, Zenon and 112 other companies as well as their principal shareholders and directors where the outstanding value of the loans purchased by AMCON amounted to N5 billion or more from taking further credit from banks, until full liquidation of the said indebtedness.

The list had revealed Otedola as the biggest debtor to the corporation from bank loans of N192,422,889,943.56, which was acquired by AMCON at an agreed price of N140,999,620,395.80.

AMCON Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, had said reaching this stage with Otedola involved over six months of long drawn-out meetings and negotiations during which his assets had to be valued by an independent valuer to ensure that they matched his debts.

The House, however, set up the ad hoc committee to probe the transaction following a motion sponsored by Hon. Abimbola Daramola (PDP/Ekiti) on the debt recovery transaction.