8th February, 2022
By Akin Kuponiyi
A limited liability company, Capital Oil Plc, has written a letter to Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company Capital Oil and Gas industries to pay consent judgement sum of N100 million.
Capital Oil Plc, had in 2008 slammed N1 billion suit on Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited over an alleged unlawful use of part of its name “CAPITAL OIL” and and that despite repeated pleas and warning by the plaintiff and directive from the Corporate Affairs Commission, the defendants did not desist.
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was joined as co- defendants.
In a statement of claim filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos by a Lagos lawyer, Chioma Okwuanyi, Capital Oil Plc stated that it became aware of the existence of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd. when correspondences meant for the company were delivered to it and that upon inquiry, it discovered that the company engages in the business of dealing in petroleum products which is the same line of its business.
The plaintiff (Capital Oil) notified Corporate Affairs Commission the error in registering Capital Oil and Gas industries Ltd. Thereafter CAC directed the company to change its name within six weeks, but the defendant refused to do so.
When the confusion between the two companies became unbearable, the plaintiff (Capital Oil Plc) dragged Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company Capital Oil and Gas industries Plc to court.
The suit was later settled by a term of settlement filed before the court and entered as consent judgement, whereby Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company Capital Oil and Gas industries agreed to pay and indeed paid N100 million to the plaintiff to remove Capital from its name.
However the money was refunded when it was discovered that the board of Directors of Capital Oil company was not carried along in the purported settlement which the company accepted.
Thereafter Capital Oil and Gas Industries sought the order of the court to compel the plaintiff to enforce the said consent judgement, but the presiding judge then Justice Okechukwu Okeke after a review of the facts of the case absolved the plaintiff of any breach of the consent judgement in the sense that since the defendant accepted the money refunded by the plaintiff, the judgement has been repudiated.
Thereafter, the defendants agreed for the sum of N230million as settlement, but the defendants refused to make any payment.
Sometime in 2013, the plaintiff received several calls from its clients who demanded to know how it had been so much engrossed in huge indebtedness that led to the take over of the management of the company by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON.
This embarrassed the plaintiff and tore its good will into shreds, as the company taken over by AMCON was Capital Oil and Gas industries and not Capital Oil Plc.
Thereafter, the Plaintiff file a suit seeking an order to restrain Chief Ifeanyi Ubah from using the name ‘Capital Oil.’
By judgement of Justice M B. Idris, the argument of Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company was upheld, stating that the consent judgement was still valid and subsisting.
Capital Oil, dissatisfied with the said judgement, appealed to the court of Appeal.
The court of Appeal, while delivering its judgement dated 19th May 2021 upheld the judgement of the lower court and found the judgement of Justice M. B. Idris to be valid and subsisting.
Upon the delivery of the judgement of the court of Appeal, the Capital Oil company instructed its solicitors to write a letter to Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and his company demanding the payment of the N100 million judgement sum.