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Firm Admits $4.7m Indebtedness to Hercules

An Ikeja Special Offences Court yesterday heard that the Chief Executive Officer, Lionstone Offshore Services Limited, Amaechi Ndili, admitted that his company was indebted to Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited to the tune of $4,666,234.28.

The first prosecution witness, Godwin Okon, who was business analyst manager of the company, said this while giving evidence before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe during resumed proceedings.

Okon said Amaechi agreed to the indebtedness of Lionstone Offshore Services to Hercules Offshore Nigeria in the statement he made at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, ACP Simon Lough (SAN), the witness said the defendant agreed to withholding money belonging to Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited.

Okon said the defendant promised to pay back by instalments and first instalment to be remitted in the sum of $600,000.

He said the defendant failed to remit the sum as promised.

He said it was when he failed to remit the amount owed Hercules Offshore Services that they decided to use the police to prosecute him in order to recover the money owed Hercules Offshore Services.

Okon told the court that Hercules Offshore Services had earlier taken the Lionstone Offshore Services Limited before an arbitration court in London in line with the provisions of the joint bidding agreement in the event of a dispute.

He said the London arbitration court decided in favour of Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited.

“When Hercules got the judgment and came back to Nigeria, we seek enforcement of the judgment at the Federal High Court.

“It was when they refused to pay that Hercules approached the NPF fraud unit to file complaint so that the company (Lionstone Offshore Services) would be prosecuted and money recovered for Hercules,” he said.

During cross examination by defence counsel, Ebun Shofunde (SAN), the witness said he was not aware that Lionstone Offshore Services challenged the decision of the Federal High Court.

He insisted that the Federal High Court affirmed the enforcement of the London arbitration court.

The witness also stated that by the virtue of his position as business analyst manager, he was part of the management of Hercules Offshore Services and that former CEO of the company, Todd Pennegiin, reported the incident to the Police.

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