Port Harcourt — Economists under the aegis of Institute of Chartered Economists, ICEN, have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, over the refusal of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, to adhere and implement the Supreme Court judgment on Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria, ALSCON.
ALSCON a $3.2billion plant located in Ibekwe, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was incorporated in 1989, and began operations in 1997 but was shut down in 1999 due to lack of working capital, while it was privatized in 2007 and handed over to RUSAL/Dayson Holdings, amidst litigation challenging the bid process.
The matter was adjudicated at various courts and on July 6, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of BFIG group, but BPE did not comply with the Supreme Court decision but pitched its tent with the Russian firm, UC Rusal.
In 2013, Justice Abdukadir Abdu-Kafarati of the Court of Appeal had also ordered BPE to fully enforce and give effect to the meaning and intendment of the Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 6th July 2012 by signing and executing forthwith the [February 13, 2013] mutually agreed to Share Purchase Agreement.
Justice Abdu-Kafarati had demanded from BPE to forthwith take full control and possession of ALSCON from anybody, including UC RUSAL et al. and prepare same for handover/transfer to BFI Group.
Chief Coordinator, South-South Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, ICEN, Friday Nathaniel Udoh, in his petition to the IGP, titled; ‘Supreme Court Judgement on ALSCON: Alleged Assets Stripping and Cannibalization by Dayson Holdings/UC Rusal the Estranged Core Investors and Why Nigeria Police Not Acting?’ wondered why the Police were yet to enforce the law.
Udoh explained that in the Police Act, the duty of the Police includes protection of lives and properties as well as enforcement of all laws and regulations, and wondered why the Police were yet to enforce the Supreme Court verdict and apprehend culprits in BPE.
He said a judgment made by the Supreme Court of Nigeria and by virtue of the Appellate court verdict, was rightly a law which should and would have been enforced by the Nigeria Police Force.
“Inspector General of Police, my humble question is why is this verdict not enforceable against Dayson Holdings/U.C Rusal after seven years the ruling was made, and embarrassingly, the subsequent reaffirmation of the judgment in a joint appeal filed by BPE and Dayson Holdings Ltd (DHL) by the Court of Appeal on January 11, 2019 for enforcement of the Supreme Court judgment with a specific order issued in favour of BFI Group. Or the culprits among BPE, or its agent apprehended till date?
“The question is why have NPF and EFCC not intervened in view of the refusal of BPE acting on the extent judgment of the Supreme Count and as affirmed by the Appeal Court in January 2019 for the prompt take over of the plant and to hold them accountable for their misdeed, incompetence and dishonesty in handling the privatisation of ALSCON among other national assets as well as apprehend Dayson Holdings/UC Rusal principal officers for their refusal in quitting the plant on the strength of the Appellate court judgment.
“Therefore, my humble appeal to this highly respectable security formation is to urgently swing into action to preserve what is left and also bring the perpetrators, including the abettors to book, anything short of this is unacceptable.”
The Chartered Economist also informed the IGP that the plant aside from depreciation is being cannibalized and its assets stripped and looted by the management of Dayson/UC Rusal while urging the Police to bring the perpetrators to book, uphold the sanctity of the country’s judiciary and protect the sovereignty of the Nation.
Udoh said groups in Akwa Ibom as well as the Supreme Court company’s workers, under the aegis of Metal Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, MPSSAN, hitherto raised the alarm that UC RUSAL was dismantling for sale some basic equipment in the plant such as anodes, alumunia, and petroleum coke, electrical bussbars/risers, stem rods, cryolite, cast iron bars, and pots, and other vital components of the plant used in the manufacture of steel ingots.
He regretted that the massive looting reported at over $3.2billion, could have been abated if the former IGP had swung into action to enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court and the extant order of Justice Abdu-Kafarati’s September 30, 2014 ruling demanding BPE to take forthwith full control and possession of ALSCON from anybody, including UC RUSAL et al.
“My respectable Inspector General of Police, it could be recalled that prior to the Supreme Court verdict on ALSCON, the Socio-political group, Mboho Ikot Abasi in its letter dated August 2, 2013 and signed by the president general of the group, Donatus Uko and general secretary, Elder Genesis Udoh addressed to the then managing director of the company, Mr Stanislav Kruglyashov expressing its displeasure at what it alleged RUSAL’s dismantling of anodes stems for sale.
“The proposed melting of aluminum components also for sale as ingots, as well as the sale of stem nipples. The letter mentioned unsubstantiated indication to the effect that RUSAL plans to vandalize valuables in the plant and cripple production if the decision of the court does not favour them.
“The Nigerian Police Force and the related organization must ensure, directly or in collaboration with the EFCC that credit facility advanced by BPE as loan for dredging by RUSAL, of course, which never happened since after the purported privatization exercise amounting to about $283million is recovered.
“That Dayson Holdings/UC Rusal officials, it agent(s) and the collaborators are evicted from the plant, apprehended and charged to court. Again, all those purportedly involved in conspiring and abating in defacing, cannibalizing, looting and stripping of assets are arrested and prosecuted according to the law.
“That BPE principal officers and those who were at the decision making position but no longer in the office should be subjected to trials for their refusal to implement judiciary pronouncements on the preservation of ALSCON assets, on extant judgments by the Supreme Court (Article 3) and as ordered by Justice Abdu-Kafarati on September 30, 2014 and upon the affirmation of the Appeals Court of January this year.”