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How Muhammed Indimi, Children Destroyed His $Multi Billion Oil Company- The Rise & Fall Of Oriental Energy Resources Ltd

First Bank Nigeria

These are indeed hard times for big players in the offshore sector of the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. This is occasioned by the global fall in the prices of crude oil and oil Companies are trying hard to survive in the face of the harsh economic climate.

In Nigeria, one of the big players is Alhaji Mohammed Indimi who owns Oriental Energy Resources Limited and a major share in Afren Plc, an international independent exploration and production company with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange.
After enjoying over a decade of enviable profits from it’s businesses in Nigeria, it seems the Borno State born billionaire is now facing the realities of his financial recklessness and the ostentatious lifestyle of his children which are now having it’s toll on his oil companies.
Information available to Yemojanews suggests that Mohammed Indimi, who was ranked  37th richest person in Africa with a net worth of $670million in 2014 may go bankrupt in the next few months if he does not restructure his family spendings and do a total financial re engineering of his oil companies.
Mohammed Indimi has made Oriental Energy Resources Limited a family business, and every members of the family compete to outdo themselves in plundering the resource of the oil company.
According to source, Muhammed Indimi has seven of his children on the board of Oriental Energy-They are Jibrila Indimi, Ibrahim Indimi, Ahmed Indimi (Head Of Crude Marketing), Mustapha Indimi (Technical Director), Mrs Ameena Indimi Dalhatu (Chief Operating Officer)’ Mrs Amina Indimi-Fodio (Legal council/Director) and Mrs Yakolo Indimi -Babangida, wife of Mohammed Babangida.
A source in the company said the children are always at war and never agree on anything, especially when it comes to spending their father’s oil company’s money, as they fly around the world in private jets, lodge in most expensive hotels, and go on expensive holidays.
The reality is now dawning on their father as debtors are now tightning  different noose around his neck to pay up debts running into 500million dollars. Indimi can’t pay up because the price of crude oil had plummeted and the billionaire is confused.
For those who do not know, Oriental Energy Resources Limited was established in 1990 by Muhammed Indimi and was awarded an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 224 by the regime of former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).
From 1991 to 1994 Oriental Energy entered into a Technical Service Agreement (TSA) with DuPont Nigeria Limited (Conoco oil) for it’s activities. That was when Oriental Energy Struck the black gold and its OPL 224 was converted to Oil Mining License (OML) 115. Oriental Energy later in 2008 entered into a Technical Service Agreement with Afren Energy Resources to appraise the Ebok Field.
The Ebok field, according to information available to was discovered in 1968 by Exxon, but the Texas Oil giant deemed it too small for its operations.
However, Oriental Energy and Afren Energy preserved and worked on the Ebok Field and by 2012, Afren had transformed from a London penny stock to an Africa-focused power house worth 2billion pounds. Thanks to the Ebok Field. Afren made sure it began to spread its tentacle in the oil the African countries and Middle East like Congo, Cote d’ ivore, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethopia and Iraq.
As the oil price soared, and oil sold between $90 to $100 per barrel, Afren and Oriental, both chaired by Mohammed Indimi began to spend money as if it was going out of circulation. The bond between Afren’s Chief Executive Officer, Osman Shahenshah and Head of Operation, Shahid Ullah with Alhaji Indimi grew Stronger. Then, the recession came as global oil prices began to fall.
With no money to fund Oriental Energy’s exploration activities in the Obok Field, Indimi turned to his friends in Afren, Shahenshah and Ullah where a deal was struck for Afren to provide a 400million dollars lifeline for Oriental Energy while the Afren executives get some money in return. The deal later blew open and Afren’s board in the United Kingdom had to launch an investigations into the deal.
Around mid 2014 Afren announced that the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP had completed its independent review into the receipt of unauthorised payments by members of management and senior employees.

“In connection with the conclusion of this review, the company has decided to terminate the employment and directorships of Osman Shahenshah and Shahid Ullah with immediate effect,” the company said in a statement published on its website.

The review found that Shahenshah and Ullah had agreed with Oriental to receive 15 per cent of the net cash flows that was due to Oriental from the Ebok oil field for five years from 2013 in exchange for $400m in funding by Afren.

Oriental paid $45m in 2013 into a special purpose vehicle owned and controlled by Shahenshah and Ullah, who used the funds to pay bonuses to themselves and selected employees of Afren, according to the review.

The WFG’s review found no evidence that either matter was discussed with Afren’s board, according to the statement.

“WFG has concluded that in October 2013 Shahenshah and Ullah entered into an agreement with Oriental by which Oriental agreed to pay 15 per cent of the agreed net cash flows that Oriental was due to receive from Ebok for the period 2013 to 2017 to a British Virgin Islands special purpose vehicle, Ntiti Limited, in exchange for facilitating $400m in funding by Afren to Oriental,” the WFG stated.

“Shahenshah and Ullah, with assistance from Afren’s former Nigeria Business Development Manager, Faiz Imam, used the funds in part to pay extraordinary bonuses to themselves ($17.1m in total was paid to Shahenshah and Ullah), and to other selected employees of Afren,” it further said.

According to the statement, both Shahenshah and Ullah have admitted the receipt of the payments referred to above, although they initially denied that the arrangement had been entered into.

The law firm also uncovered evidence that suggested that the two executives sought personal benefits from a 2013 management buy-out of AMNI International Petroleum Development Company Limited.

In the review, 11 employees – past and present – were found to have benefited from payments from Oriental Energy. Afren also sacked Associate Directors, Iain Wright and Galib Virani, saying they received payments in breach of the company’s approved remuneration policy and that it would seek to recover such sums.

“The Board has instructed counsel to commence legal proceedings against Shahenshah and Ullah, if necessary, to recover sums in respect of such unauthorised payments,” the statement added.

Afren suspended Shahenshah and Ullah in July when it began the review, and the two associate directors in August as the review expanded.

The company said Toby Hayward would remain as interim chief executive, while its board searched for replacements. Egbert Imomoh will remain as executive chairman.

As things stand now, learnt that Oriental Energy don’t have the fund for its exploration while Afren’s Stocks in the London Stack Exchange have lost 99 percent of their values. To make matters worse, the shareholders have voted against injecting more funds into the Oil  Company as the world’s benchmark for oil price falls to less than $50 per barrel.

However industry watchers are blaming the flamboyant lifestyle of Muhammed Indimi, his children and corrupts practices in the oil industry for the woes that has befallen Oriental Energy Resources Limited and Afren Oil and Gas.



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